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High-tech mouthpieces used to advance medical understanding of concussions in football

As my colleague mentioned earlier today, the problem of concussions among football players is a very real one. To learn more about the issue, Dan Garza, MD, associate director of Stanford’s Lacob Family Sports Medicine Center and medical director for the San Francisco 49ers, and a team of researchers have launched a study during which Stanford University football players are equipped with mouthpieces containing high-tech sensors. As I explain in a release:

The goal is to help medical scientists better understand what sorts of football collisions cause concussions, as well as whether there are any positions or particular plays associated with a greater risk of these traumatic brain injuries. The mouthpieces contain accelerometers and gyrometers that measure the linear and rotational force of head impacts.


"This study will build towards establishing clinically relevant head-impact correlations and thresholds to allow for a better understanding of the biomechanics of brain injuries,” said Garza... “It also will serve as a helpful tool to aid in diagnosis and subsequent management of concussions.”

Stanford is the only university in the country to use the device to collect research data on its athletes; members of the Stanford women’s field hockey and lacrosse teams are also being outfitted with the mouthpieces.

Previously: Researchers develop new test for diagnosing concussions on the sidelines, Deceased athletes’ brains reveal the effects of head injuries, When can athletes return to play? Stanford researchers provide guidance and New concussion guidelines for NFL players
Photo by Court_59

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