A new research effort taking place in Wisconsin, called PANTHER, is there to work on ways to handle concussions and the brain injury’s potentially long-term impact. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, researchers are working on processes to better identify concussions when they happen as well as on creating equipment that protects people better.
Hitting your head is possible in any workplace, while playing sports, when you’re involved in a car crash and in other situations. With the PANTHER program, the goal would be to find new technologies to mitigate those injuries and to have a better understanding of how the brain cells work.
New research focuses on identifying the risk of an injury and its possible location
The work largely focuses on quantifying how much strain or stress it takes to cause a concussion. To do this, the team is looking at a computational model of the human head and brain that is then subjected to impacts from various angles. Eventually, with enough data, it may be easier to identify which kinds of impacts and motions are the most dangerous and likely to cause a concussion following a particular accident. The data would then potentially be able to tell a physician, as an example, the likelihood of an injury as well as the area of the brain that was most likely to be impacted.
Researchers are hoping to expand their effort into studying blast-induced concussions, which are of particular concern to those in the military as well as people who are in blast-risk industries.
Though this research is not yet complete, the team’s goal is to eventually be able to provide this data and to use it in any situation where someone may have hit their head or suffered from head trauma.