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New Device by Bauer Can Protect Against Microscopic Brain Damage

Surgery and Surgical Robotics September 26, 2017

Sports equipment maker Bauer unveiled a collar-like device Wednesday that it says can protect against microscopic brain damage in athletes playing contact sports like hockey, football and soccer.

The NeuroShield collar is worn around the neck and applies a slight pressure that increases blood volume in the veins around the brain, helping to reduce the organ’s movement inside the skull.

Microscopic Brain DamageIt’s that “sloshing” of the brain inside the skull caused by a blow to the head that leads to damage to the delicate microstructures of the brain, including nerve fibres, as well as concussions.

Dr. Julian Bailes, head of neurosurgery at the NorthShore University Health System in Chicago, told a Toronto news conference Wednesday the human brain is tethered but floating in about seven millimetres of cerebral spinal fluid. That allows it to move inside the skull when the head is joltedby actions such as football tackles or hockey checks.

“It moves inside the skull, it tears fibres, it results in severe forms of diffuse axonal injury, it causes contusions or bleeding in the brain or causes the lethal subdural hematoma from tearing of veins,” he explained.

“A helmet cannot prevent brain movement.”

The NeuroShield slightly increases the amount of blood in the brain, filling up some of the space and reducing the amount of “slosh,” said Bailes.

The idea of using a collar-like device began with Dr. David Smith, former chief of medicine at Reid Hospital in Indiana, who was inspired by the ability of woodpeckers to withstand millions of high-energy impacts over their lifetimes without suffering brain damage. That’s because the bird’s anatomy doesn’t allow its brain to move within its skull.

Read the Rest of the Story at the Source: New device can protect athletes from microscopic brain damage, Bauer says – The Globe and Mail


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