WEDNESDAY, Oct. 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) — A jugular vein compression collar can prevent white matter alterations associated with head impact exposure among female high school soccer players, according to a study published online Oct. 15 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Gregory D. Myer, Ph.D., from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and colleagues prospectively collected diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data from high school female soccer participants (aged 14 to 18 years) at up to three time points over a nine-month period. Head impacts were monitored with the use of accelerometers during all practices and games. Twenty-four participants were assigned to wear a collar and 22 were assigned to a non-collar group.

The researchers observed significant pre-season to post-season white matter changes in the non-collar group in mean diffusivity (2.83 ± 2.46 percent), axial diffusivity (2.58 ± 2.34 percent), and radial diffusivity (3.52 ± 2.60 percent); despite similar head impact exposure, no significant changes were seen in the collar group. In the non-collar group, there was a significant correlation between head impact exposure and pre- to post-season DTI changes. In the non-collar group, white matter changes partially resolved at the three-month off-season follow-up.

“This could be a paradigm shift in how we study the brain and protect the brain internally from head impact exposure,” Myer said in a statement. “We need to continue to do larger studies with various populations.”

One author was the inventor of the Q-Collar approach and had financial interest in the results of the current research; several authors disclosed financial ties to Q30 Sports Sciences, which partially funded the study.

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