Master of Science
Soccer is the world's most popular sport, and intentional heading of the ball is exclusive to it. Head impacts in youth players are riskier than adults as their brains are developing. Finite element models can quantify parameters, like strains within regions of the brain, that are otherwise difficult to assess. The purpose of this stay was to examine the relationship between head kinematics collected by wireless head impact sensors and brain strains in regions of interest related to concussion. As well, we assessed head impact strains in regions of interest related to concussion for headers from various game scenarios. In conclusion, the findings of this thesis showed that maximum principal strain increases in relation to linear acceleration and angular velocity, though the strength of relationships ranged between the kinematic parameters and the different regions of the brain. As well, game scenarios are important to the magnitude of max strains.
Summary for Lay Audience
Soccer is one of the world's most popular sports, and has over 265 million people worldwide play. Heading the ball is exclusive to the game and helps players to maintain control and keep the ball from the opposing team. In younger soccer players, exposure to head impacts is potentially more at risk for a concussion as the brain is continuing to grow and develop until the age of 30. Tracking the forces with wireless acceleration acting on the head during play offers insight into what is occurring in head impacts. To follow up, computer models calculate a plethora of equations designed with precise anatomical accuracy to recreate impacts base on this data. This creates a simulation of the head impacts that offers more information that is available from the sensors alone such as internal forces aging on the brain.
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship in forces imposed on on the head collected by wireless head impact sensors to strains of the brain occurring in various regions of interest that are related to concussion. As well, to assess the various game scenarios head impact strains in regions of interest related to concussion This thesis observed increased levels of max principal strain at specific regions of interest in the brain compared to a single concussion case resulting from purposeful headers. As well, linear accelerations and angular velocities were both related to increased strains occurring in the brain following head impacts. In conclusion, the findings of this thesis showed increased maximum principal strain in relation to linear acceleration and angular velocity. As well, game scenarios are important to the magnitude of max strains.
Based on the findings of this study it is shown that FEM models can provide important insights into the risks associated with purposeful headers, and the ROIs related to concussion warrant further examination.
Allison, Wayne, "Strains in Regions of the Brain Modelled from Female Youth Soccer Players Performing Purposeful Headers in Season" (2019). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 6740.