It’s widely known that a hard hit to the head can give you a concussion. But what happens in the brain after the impact has been a bit of a mystery. A study published in March 2018 in Physical Review Letters suggests that the biomechanics may be even more nuanced than previously believed.
To gain a better understanding of the biomechanics of the brain during and after a blow to the head, a team of researchers gathered data from Stanford University football players who experienced impacts to the head while wearing helmets with special mouth guards that recorded how their heads moved after an impact, as well as data from NFL players. Then the researchers loaded this data into a computer model of the brain and used the computer to simulate 189 collisions to try to figure out what happens in the brain that leads to a concussion.
They found that the differences between impacts that led to concussions and those that didn’t had to do with how and where the brain shakes after the impact.
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