KABC's Eyewitness News ran a story on the 5pm edition on Monday about how UCLA has started a 3-year, $30 million concussion study using specialized football helmets with sensors. Considering how brain injuries are one of the biggest issues in football and sports right now, this study has the opportunity to provide amazing data and puts UCLA on the cutting edge of reducing brain injuries.
UCLA Equipment Manager Brendan Burger told ABC7's Curt Sandoval:
[The helmets] have these little pagers so anything over 90 on their scale is considered a measurable hit. They should probably take a look at the guy and make sure they're not at risk for a concussion
Dr. John DiFiori from UCLA Health said:
If we have an athlete, for example, where we see their impacts are occurring a lot on top of their head rather than in front or on the sides, we can take the individual aside and say, 'Hey look, this is what we're seeing on our impact data. We need to work on your technique.'
When the brain has a head injury, it's going through a process of recovery and we have very, sort of, indirect ways of trying to assess when the brain has recovered. These more objective tools may in the future really help us to know when someone has recovered from an injury,
Curt Sandoval asked if it would be difficult to take a star player out during a game, UCLA football coach Jim Mora said making that call should not be hard. Coach Mora said:
I think that if we keep things in perspective and realize that our players' safety should be our No. 1 priority [it won't be difficult].
This research is in addition to the work being done at UCLA which is trying to discover new ways of diagnosing CTE or chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
It's good to know that UCLA is working to find long-term solutions to this important issue.