What is a concussion?
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI), resulting from a hit to the head which temporarily changes brain function. Most concussions occur due to direct impact to the head. However, impact to the body (ie: body checks, falls, cross checks, or tackles) which cause the brain to move quickly within the skull, may also attribute to TBIs.
What are the impacts of a concussion?
“Subconcussive level impacts can lead to significant neurological alterations, especially if the blows are repetitive” 1
Symptoms of concussions are not the same for everyone and vary based on the severity of the brain injury. Concussion suffers can exhibit a variety of physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms. Those who have experienced a concussion are more likely to suffer another, especially if the injury occurs before the first concussion has had time to heal. TBIs can also cause epilepsy and increase the risk for conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), and other brain disorders that become more prevalent with age. 2 Repeated mild TBIs occurring over an extended period of time (ie: months,years) can result in cumulative neurological and cognitive deficits. Repeated mild TBIs occurring within a short period of time (ie: hours, days or weeks) can be catastrophic or fatal. 3
What is a Shockbox?
How does Shockbox work?
When attached to a helmet, Shockbox can assess the linear and rotational acceleration magnitude and direction of a hit that may result in a concussion.* Shockbox is designed to alert at a threshold of 20g (peak G linear acceleration) to the head by using algorithms to calculate helmet and head acceleration. Based on research from Gwin et al*, it was seen that 86% of impacts in football fall below the 50 g threshold. There is also a growing body of research indicating that concussions predominantly fall in a range between 70 – 100 g (Broglio et al**).
*No helmet sensor can accurately determine that a blow to the head is concussive
Shockbox sends raw data, 100 yds to a sideline smartphone or tablet where a software App applies offset/ correlation algorithms based on over 53,000 lab tests to estimate CofG head acceleration. The algorithms account for helmet make and model as well as mechanical decoupling of the helmet during impact. Algorithms are based upon test data from monorail drop tests onto MEP pad and freefall pendulum impactor tests against a Hybrid III 5oth male (3,2,2,2 array) headform.
Shockbox Research Studies
Impakt Protective has been conducting clinical research and pilot use studies in hockey and football since 2011 in order to validate the efficiency of the helmet sensors technology as well as develop the Shockbox products and software system.
- ASTM Impact Sensor Algorithm Validation– ASTM (2012) – Published in ASTM STP 1552
- Women’s CIS (NCAA) Hockey Study– Carleton University (2011,2012,2013)
- Youth Football Study-POP Warner (2012) – Published in J. Neurology & Neurosurgery
- Youth Hockey Study– UPMC/Boston Children’s (2012) – in press
- Youth Football Study-NCAFA Ottawa- (2013)
Helmet Sensors Use in Concussion Management
Neurosurgeon Dr Julian Bailes MD discussed the role of helmet sensors in youth football.
Neurosurgeon and founder of Think First charity, Dr. Charles Tator, PhD. MD discusses concussion and the role of helmet sensors in sideline assessment.
1Julian E. Bailes et al. “Role of subconcussion in repetitive mild traumatic brain injury.” J Neurosurg 23 Aug 2013. 121822.
2 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Traumatic brain injury: hope through research. Bethesda (MD): National Institutes of Health; 2002 Feb. NIH Publication No.: 02-158.
Brian W. Benson MD PhD, Willem H. Meeuwisse MD PhD, John Rizos MD, Jian Kang PhD, Charles J. Burke MD. “A prospective study of concussions among National Hockey League players during regular season games: the NHL-NHLPA Concussion Program.” CMAJ 27 May. 2011: 183(8)