Researchers at the University of Nebraska believe they’re on the verge of what could potentially prevent players from playing with a concussion ever again.
Housed inside Memorial Stadium, the University of Nebraska’s Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior has developed a mesh cap, littered with electrodes, that can sense within 10 minutes whether or not a player has suffered a concussion and, if so, how severe.
“There are a lot of things that are very important with the NCAA as far as the health and safety of the student-athlete,” NCAA chief medical officer Brian Hainline said to the Associated Press, “and concussion is right up there as first and foremost. It’s the elephant on the table, and we, with everyone else, we have to solve it.”
Instead of relying on a player’s answers to a set of questions and diagnosing from there, trainers and doctors can definitively know whether or not a player is fit to return to the field.
“We can get an idea of what area of the brain is being involved in the process, whether the speed of processing is at the rate it should be,” Dennis Molfese, director of Nebraska’s CB3 center, said. “The different areas of the brain that normally integrate information quickly stop doing that, so that’s another way we should be able to pick up whether there is an injury or not.”
The trick is, of course, getting players who suffered blows to the head off the field.
Molfese said the device should be ready for use within one or two years. The article does not speculate how much tis device will cost, but the guess here is that it will be years still until you see players donning electrode caps on high school and small college sidelines.