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UBC study could help researchers understand football head injuries

(Courtesy www.gothunderbirds.ca)

Researchers are looking into a link between brain function and the number of hits football players take in a season

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – UBC football players are wearing a high-tech device in today’s semi-final game in Nova Scotia, all to help solve the problems of concussions in contact sports.

Many of the Thunderbirds are wearing small sensors that fit behind their ear and measure everything like the size of hits to the direction the impact is coming from.

Kinesiology PHD candidate Harrison Brown explains their goal is not to design new equipment to solve the problem, just gather more data to understand what needs fixing.

“You know, [we want to know] how many hits are our players receiving? Is it different for different position groups? Once a week we sit down with all the players and do a battery of concussion tests and what we try to do is [look for a] link [between players who] have more hits or bigger hits. Is there a correlation to these test scores?

Brown explains the sensors are being used in practice and during games to collect as much data from the field. “Collecting broadly the size or the magnitude of the impact that they are receiving, so any impact to the head so specifically. They are collecting linier accelerations and angular accelerations and also the direction it is coming from.”

The researchers will analyze all of the data collected after the Thunderbirds season is over with the full study expected to be completed by the spring.