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Q-Collar, Which Protects The Brain From Repeated Blows, Now Available
Q30 Innovations has made its Q-Collar—a C-shaped neck-worn device designed to help protect the brain from impacts—available in the U.S. market for the first time. In February, the FDA approved the Q-Collar to market itself as aiding “in the protection of the brain from the effects associated with repetitive sub-concussive head impacts.” It is, to date, the only such device to receive that permission.
The Q-Collar works by lightly compressing the jugular veins in order to increase blood volume in the brain and reduce the “slosh,” or untethered movement, around the skull. It has not been shown to prevent concussion or other traumatic brain injuries, but in more than two dozen clinical and laboratory studies, the device has been shown to reduce the effects of regular impact. It is intended to be worn in conjunction with a sport’s normal protective equipment, such as helmets, but has shown efficacy in non-helmeted sports, such as girls’ soccer.
The notice explaining the FDA designation cited a study of 284 high school football players—roughly half of whom wore the Q-Collar —during which all of them underwent pre- and postseason MRIs. In the cohort that wore the Q-Collar, 77% showed no significant changes in brain white matter. In the group that did not wear the collar, only 27% had no significant change.
“Over the past decade, coaches, athletes, parents and decision makers at every level of sport have been forced to reckon with a deeper understanding of the potential for both short- and long-term dangers of head injuries in sports,” Dr. Julian Bailes, chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at NorthShore University Health System and the chief medical advisor for Q30 Innovations, said in a statement. “With the U.S. launch of the Q-Collar, athletes nationwide finally have access to a novel advancement in head injury protection that will enable them to play the sports they love with a greater degree of safety.”
The Q-Collar has been available in Canada for two years and has been used in U.S. clinical trials for several years. Retired Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, who suffered three documented concussions during his eight-year pro career, was the most high-profile athlete to have worn the device in competition.