The U.S. military and the private sector are working together to provide better protective equipment for civilians and soldiers. The goal is to significantly reduce the number of traumatic brain injuries sustained each year. Paul Sisco has more in this week's "Searching for Solutions" report.
Football players double as study participants. Their helmets are equipped with special sensors that monitor and record impact data.
Tom Goodwin, with Virginia College, explains the purpose of the study. "We have these sensors around the helmet picking up the force of the blow and also the direction so we can look at that and see where most of these blows are occurring," he said.
The U.S. military is jointly participating, here using test dummies. General George Casey, the U.S. Army Chief of Staff, says the Army is also testing the helmet.
"We're experimenting now with helmet devices that will measure the velocity of a soldier's head as it moves, and the soldier will go back to a base and it can actually be downloaded onto a computer so we measure what that soldier (has) been exposed to," explained Casey.
The helmet sensors still being perfected are scheduled for use in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2008.
The wobble plate is another piece of equipment under development. It tests balance. Neurologist Dr. Thomas DeGravo uses this device to measure blood flow to the brain.
Whether the injury occurs on the battlefield or the ball field, these devices will allow doctors to rapidly determine the best course of treatment for trauma victims.