WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2016

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/713244

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Page 157 of 211

While the long-term effect of repeated traumatic brain injury is pri- marily a concern at the college and pro levels, the immediate risk of even a single concussion is what we worry about in kids. In recent years, this risk has been scrutinized in all youth contact sports. And while many sports expose kids to the risk of concussion, none has received more attention than football. Maiona notes that safety in WYF has been a priority from the beginning. "You make changes based on science and technology or you won't have your sport anymore. We want to talk about the risks. We welcome the discussion." Football collisions produce two types of head acceleration: linear and rotational. Linear acceleration might be seen when a boxer is hit and his head pops back in a straight line. By comparison, when a boxer receives a left hook, the blow comes from off center, caus- ing the head and brain to spin and twist. That's rotational accelera- tion. Brain tissue is particularly vulnerable to insult via rotational acceleration. There is no concussion-proof helmet, but great efforts have been made to study the mechanism of a concussion and improve helmet technology. A STAR (1 through 5) rating has been developed based on testing done on dummy head forms wearing helmets, with sensors recording impacts. Importantly, the STAR system doesn't measure rotational acceleration, only linear. 156 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 6 family matters "even a single concussion is what we worry about in kids" "It's a fairly violent sport. Every play involves some sort of collision, and the end result is trying to hit somebody else." – D r. Y i - M e n g Ye n , O r t h o p e d i c S u r g e o n M A U R A W A Y M A N

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