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Sensors Tested In Hopes Of Preventing Concussions Among NFL Players

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ROCKFORD, Tenn. (CBS) – Electronic sensors may be the solution to the concussion crisis among NFL football players, according to a published report.

USA Today reported the Southern Impact Research Center in Rockford, Tenn., has been testing sensors in helmets and mouth guards to measure hard knocks to players. If the sensors, called accelerometers, are proven reliable, they will be tested on a sample of players once the lockout ends and the season begins, the newspaper reported.

In the testing in the laboratory, located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, helmets are slammed at a variety of speeds and angles by a ram rod with a plastic head, and the sensors transmit data to a computer, USA Today reported.

The helmets are mounted under a urethane rubber mold of the human head and face with a movable jaw and a nylon stocking to simulate human hair, the newspaper said.

While Dr. Richard Ellenbogen, co-chairman of the NFL Head, Neck and Spine Committee, says concussions will never be eliminated altogether, he tells USA Today he hopes to see them “go as low to zero as we possibly can.”

The concussion crisis in the NFL has been in the headlines for several months, particularly since the suicide of former Chicago Bear Dave Duerson in February.

Last month, the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at the Boston University School of Medicine confirmed that Duerson had suffered brain damage stemming from concussions.

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