Contact sports and active duties put men in those fields at high risk of traumatic head injuries. Studies made on animals like woodpeckers that bang their head all day long while resisting head injuries help scientists come up with similar trauma-resistant methods to be employed on humans.
A human brain which floats in cerebrospinal fluid and sloshes around inside the skull in every repeated impacts may eventually cause the brain to progressively degenerate. This neurodegenerative disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE is found to be common in athletes and soldiers.
Julian Bailes, chairman of neurosurgery at NorthShore University HealthSystem, and co-director of the NorthShore Neurological Institute in Evanston, Illinois created the technology that can mimic the special ways that animals adjust the surrounding conditions of their brain to prevent head trauma.
The special "collar" technology will slightly increase the amount of blood in the brain, creating a cushion that prevents the brain from moving around inside the cranium. Like woodpeckers, the U-shaped collar that fits snugly against a person’s neck can pressurize and adjust the volume of the brain.
The impact of pressure in head trauma resistance was determined with the reported concussions in high school sports and in NFL games
that is 30 percent lower when games were played at higher altitude. It is understandable because a human brain tends to increase in volume in high altitude.
Gregory Myer, director of the human performance laboratory at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, considers the biomechanical consequences of this approach. He considers that “safety is by far more important than efficacy at this point.” He is also working in getting opinions and feedback from hundreds of physicians about the technology.
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