Performance Sports Group Ltd. announced that proprietary technology licensed exclusively to the company for use in sports and athletic activities has been shown to reduce brain injury biomarkers in two peer-reviewed studies published separately in the British Journal of Sports Medicine and Frontiers in Neurology. The studies, conducted by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, utilized high school hockey and football players and represent the first detailed research regarding the effectiveness of the device worn by athletes.
The C-shaped neck collar, developed by Q30 Innovations, is based on biologically-inspired discovery and backed by leading medical experts. It is the first technology that attempts to reduce mild traumatic brain injury by using the body’s own internal physiology rather than through the use of external protections, such as helmets. Worn comfortably around the neck, the device mildly increases blood volume in the cranium, thereby aiming to reduce the ‘slosh effect,’ which leading medical experts have identified as a key cause of mild traumatic brain injury. The brain floats in cerebrospinal fluid inside the skull and “slosh” is the movement of the brain in this fluid. When the head experiences an impact or a sudden, extreme movement, the brain sloshes inside the skull and can rotate or strike the inside walls of the cranium, resulting in torn brain fibers, which leading medical experts believe can result in mild traumatic brain injury or concussion.
“The results of the studies are compelling and we are very encouraged about the continued effectiveness of the device in testing, first shown in multiple animal studies and now in multiple athlete studies,” said Amir Rosenthal, President, PSG Brands, Performance Sports Group. “We continue to focus our efforts on taking the necessary steps to bring this exciting and promising new product to athletes around the world.”
In the football study, published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers followed a group of Cincinnati high school players throughout the 2015 football season and utilized diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to measure microstructure changes in the white matter of each player’s brain. The brain’s white matter connects the processing centers within the brain. Players not wearing the device showed statistically significant alterations to the brain’s white matter. Those players wearing the device showed no statistically significant alterations in white matter over the entire season. The two groups sustained similar levels of contact during the season, according to data collected by helmet-mounted accelerometers.
The hockey study, published in Frontiers in Neurology, was the first study to measure the effectiveness of the device on athletes. Although a smaller sample size, the study of a group of Cincinnati high school hockey players throughout the 2014 season showed compelling results and paved the way for the larger football study. Like the football study, participants in the hockey study were scanned utilizing DTI imaging before, during and after the season. None of the players who wore the device showed any statistically significant changes in white matter of the brain, while all of the players who did not wear the device displayed disruption in white matter.
“These groundbreaking studies show that wearing the device appears to reduce injury to the brain resulting from sports-related blows to the head,” said Tom Hoey, Co-Founder of Q30 Innovations, which maintains the licensing rights to the technology outside of sports and athletic activities. “These are important findings that warrant continued research of this potential major advance in reducing the occurrence of brain injury, not only in sports, but also for the military and industrial settings.”
In addition to the study results, Performance Sports Group announced its anticipated launch of the device in Canada during spring/summer of 2017. The Company will then proceed to make the product available in additional countries, including the United States, after it receives the requisite approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other applicable regulatory authorities throughout the world.
To access the full studies, visit the links below.
British Journal of Sports Medicine – http://m.bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2016/06/15/bjsports-2016-096134
Frontiers in Neurology – http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fneur.2016.00074/full