By: Mike Dyer
Posted: 11:37 AM, Aug 10, 2016
Seton soccer player Kelly Byrne and her teammates understand the concerns over concussions in their sport.
That’s why Seton and Madeira are so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of a comprehensive concussion study this season involving Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
“It’s really exciting,” said Byrne, a center midfielder. “Everyone is super-pumped. It’s really cool because it’s going to be published eventually.”
As WCPO.com first reported in May, Connecticut-based Q30 Sports Science has provided money to help Cincinnati Children’s Sports Medicine Research team pursue a study involving the Q-Collar, a special investigational collar that may reduce the number of concussions in contact sports.
“It’s important to understand the potential protective effect of the collar in a number of athletes,” Dr. Gregory Myer told WCPO.com Tuesday night. “It’s important to get out and study non-helmeted sports.”
Myer is director of research for the Division of Sports Medicine and the director of the Human Performance Lab at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
Myer’s team conducted a high school football study during the 2015 season that involved 32 St. Xavier players wearing the Q-Collar while 30 Moeller players did not wear the collar. The differences in the group were significant and the study was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in mid-June.
The collar puts slight pressure on the jugular vein to increase intracranial blood volume in order to decrease what is often referred to as “brain slosh.” Wearing the collar is safe and merely imitates yawning, according to Dr. David Smith, who discovered Slosh Theory in 2007 and has worked closely with Dr. Myer at Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Myer is curious to discover whether a similar response in brain imaging exists between the two groups in the girls’ soccer study this season. Seton and Madeira will be players will be tracked throughout the season that could potentially conclude in the state finals Nov. 11 in Columbus.
There are 75 total players from the Seton and Madeira girls’ soccer teams (junior varsity and varsity combined) who are participating. Madeira is the control group and is not wearing the collar. Both teams are wearing an accelerometer which studies the head impacts. The accelerometer acts like a bandage and is replaced after each game.
“We know that the female athlete tends to respond to lower-level head impacts with concussive symptoms and they tend to have longer symptoms,” Dr. Myer said. “In general they tend to be more susceptible to head impact so we want to really help protect their population as well.”
Madeira coach Dan Brady said nearly everybody in his program is participating in the study and that equals approximately 27 players.
“The girls seem to be embracing the importance of the study and feel the information gathered by the trainers will benefit soccer players later on down the road,” Brady said.
Seton hosted its first junior varsity and varsity scrimmages Tuesday night at the Panther Athletic Complex and wore the collars for the first time in a competitive game atmosphere.
“They think it’s a neat thing,” said Seton public relations/marking director Christy Dean Schutte. “Quite honestly, they feel pretty honored to be a part of this.”
WCPO Insiders can read more about this girls' soccer study and its potential impact in reducing concussions.
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