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University of Alberta to use helmet sensors to study concussions

A University of Alberta professor will study 11- and 12-year-old peewee hockey players, using a device attached to their helmets to figure out how much force is likely to damage the brain. "We want to get a sense of what’s going on when kids get bodychecked or they fall on the ice or hit their head against the glass — what forces are involved — because that leads to our bigger question: Is there a certain threshold or certain force that will induce a concussion?" The device will give researchers a good look at three-dimensional movement, including force that rotates the head to the side, which seems to be the most likely to cause of concussions and prolonged symptoms, [Neuropsychologist Martin] Mrazik said. "Unfortunately, a good example is Sid Crosby, where you saw the guy go by and his whole head and body contorted. What that does is it causes diffuse axonal injury where the brain tissue actually stretches. Those type of hits are more problematic because the neck muscles are not as strong going side to side." Read the full article

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