The White House hosts a summit Thursday about the perils of concussions in youth sports.
Researchers have been racing to find a fix, but gels and extra padding in helmets may not do the trick.
“Helmets stop skull fractures,” says professor Dennis Molfese at the University of Nebraska’s Developmental Brain Laboratory. “But we think it’s the primary rotation movement to the head that produces the concussion.”
He’s working with electrodes to diagnose concussions. Other academics experiment with blood samples or voice patterns that can reflect brain damage. But it will be years before any reach the market.
Sports teams have an economic incentive to find a solution. The NFL is finalizing a more than $700 million settlement, which was rejected by a judge earlier this year, related to ex-players’ brain injuries. And experts anticipate more concussion-related law suits at all levels of the game.
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