WESTPORT, Conn., June 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- A C-shaped neck collar based on patented technology from Q30 Innovations provides early evidence that it may reduce brain injury in separate studies of high-school football and hockey players published today in peer-reviewed journals. The studies, performed by Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, constitute the first research of the effectiveness of the collar on human subjects.
The Q-Collar, which facilitates the body's own physiology to create a bubble-wrap effect for the brain, is being developed by Q30 Innovations for athletes, soldiers and industrial workers. It gently compresses the jugular vein to mildly increase blood volume in the cranium, creating a "tighter fit" of the brain in the cranium. This action is proposed to reduce "slosh" – i.e., the twisting and slamming of the brain against the skull's interior walls which is one cause of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), or concussion.
In the preliminary hockey study, researchers followed players through the first half of the season. As in the football study, each head impact was measured and recorded. Fifteen players were randomly assigned to two groups: one wearing the collar for the first half of the season, and the other group not wearing the collar. MRI scans before, during and after the season indicated that changes in the brain's white matter (an indication of brain injury) were significantly ameliorated when the Q-Collar was worn. In fact, as in the football study, players wearing the collar showed no statistically significant changes in their brains' white matter. The study was published in Frontiers in Neurology.
In the football study, researchers followed Cincinnati high school players through the fall 2015 season. The players wearing the collar showed no statistically significant alterations over the season in their brains' white matter, which connects the processing centers of the brain. By contrast, the athletes who did not wear the collar showed statistically significant alterations consistent with brain injury. The two groups sustained similar levels of head impacts measured by helmet-mounted accelerometers worn in all games and practices. The study is detailed in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
"These groundbreaking studies show early evidence Q30's Q-Collar was effective to significantly reduce injury to the brain resulting from sports-related blows to the head," said Q30 Innovations Co-Founder Tom Hoey. "These are important findings that warrant continued research of this potential major advance in reducing the occurrence of brain injuries."
In two prior peer-reviewed research studies conducted on small animals published in the medical journals Neurosurgery and Journal of Neurosurgery, researchers found an 83-percent reduction in the number of torn brain fibers in a standard concussion model when a collar was used.
The lead author of the football and hockey studies is Dr. Greg Myer, PhD, director of sports medicine research at Cincinnati Children's. The Q-Collar was inspired by research from David Smith, PhD, visiting scientist at Cincinnati Children's, a co-inventor of the collar. Smith conceived the idea of the Q-Collar after determining that woodpeckers and head-ramming sheep employ natural biological mechanisms to prevent brain damage from concussive hits. The migration patterns of head-ramming sheep show they are hitting at high altitudes, which are believed to increase blood volume in the skull. Woodpeckers have a long tongue that wraps around the top of their head and lassos the jugular vein, creating a bubble-wrap effect similar to the Q-Collar.
Performance Sports Group (NYSE: PSG) (TSX: PSG), a leading developer and manufacturer of high performance sports equipment and apparel has licensed the technology to commercialize the Q-Collar for use in sports worldwide. Performance Sports Group markets its leading products under the BAUER, MISSION, MAVERIK, CASCADE, INARIA, COMBAT and EASTON brand names.
The Q-Collar is undergoing additional research and testing and will not be available in the United States until it receives approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
A global company based in Westport, Conn., Q30 Innovations, LLC, uses independent scientific research and innovative thinking to design products intended to reduce traumatic brain injury in athletes, soldiers, and industry workers. Products using Q30's technology have not yet received regulatory approval and are not available for purchase in the United States.
SOURCE Q30 Innovations