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The Limitations of Helmets

Schroeder, W.L. PhD

doi: 10.1097/01.NNN.0000453341.42951.05
Departments: Letters

Corvallis, OR

It seems that Dr. Conidi has it right; “Helmets were never designed to protect against concussion” (“Latest Concussion Research,” June/July 2014; Basic physics tells us that the brain will almost certainly impact the skull during a high-speed collision. No practical shock absorber can change this fact. What's more, the game of football has evolved considerably during the last 60 years: players at all levels are bigger, faster, and more specialized. At the same time, the game is more wide open. These facts combine to promote high-speed collisions. Modern plastic helmets with face masks are even used as weapons. If we are serious about protecting players against concussions, we need to look at the rules of the game as well as the equipment.

W.L. Schroeder, PhD

Corvallis, OR

© 2014 American Academy of Neurology