This feasibility study was performed in adolescent male football players wearing the Q-Collar during football seasons to test its effect in ameliorating neuroanatomical changes to the brain using evidenced by DTI. This project utilized a prospective controlled trial to evaluate the effects of mild jugular vein compression (Device; n=31) relative to controls (no-Device; n=30) during a competitive football season. Helmet sensors were used to collect daily impact data (force, direction and number of hits) in excess of 20 g (games and practices), and the primary outcome measures, which included changes in white matter microstructure, were assessed by DTI measures.
Comparing the two groups, the no-Device group demonstrated significantly larger pre- to post-season DTI change in many white matter regions (corrected p<.05). The findings, based on four DTI measures known to relate to brain injury, indicate a consistent reduction of change in diffusivity parameters noted in the no-Device group at post-season. Based on the published literature, this is a sign of sub-threshold white matter injury due to repetitive head impacts during the competitive season in those subjects not wearing the Device.
The results of the Football Study were published and further demonstrate that IJV compression, through the use of the Q-Collar, can protect the brain from sports-related injury caused by head impacts. In order to understand the long-term effects of the use of the Q-Collar, several of the participating football players participated in a longitudinal study during their second and third year of playing high school football with the Q-Collar. The findings of the longitudinal studies support the effectiveness of the Q-Collar.Review the full study here: British Journal of Sports Medicine