What Does a Race Car Crash do to Your Brain?
Concussions have been a known issue for sports and falls but they aren’t often associated with racing. Regardless, they have been a health issue that racers have been quietly suffering from for decades. So much so that the Centers for Disease Control has racing listed as the third leading source of traumatic brain injuries.
Concussions sustained during car racing happen during collisions when the brain is violently shaken into the walls of the skull. Frequent race car crashes resulting in concussions can lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Which is why Brain Forest has become so passionate about bringing what we do into the racing industry.
What are the long term effects of a concussion?
There is no “one size fits all” answer to how a concussion will affect someone in the long term. It heavily depends on the individual, the impact and frequency of the trauma, and the recovery time or methods. For race car drivers who hide their concussions, only to continue hitting their head, they will be more apt to suffer from permanent brain damage, second impact syndrome, or CTE.
Why is Concussion Management Important?
Concussion mitigation is vital for each and every concussion, even if it is low grade. Aside from focusing on implementing proper nutrition, avoiding exertion, getting good sleep, and managing stress, neurofeedback can be a great way to help with concussion management.
Neurofeedback and QEEG tests can help identify and target the specific part(s) of the brain affected by the impact.
Indy Car’s New Concussion Protocol
With increases in technology, it’s become apparent that concussions are not something to take lightly, and they don’t just occur when someone is knocked unconscious. It’s because of this that Indy Car has started implementing a stricter concussion protocol that includes a neurocognitive baseline assessment and monitored throughout their drive time.
This is done through accelerometers in their ear canal that measure the G-force of impact on the drivers head. If the data points are too high, Indy Car will require the driver to remain parked for at least a week. These set baselines help a team of doctors to know when the drivers are off, even if they won’t admit to it.
How Brain Forest Centers Helps the Racing Community
Our team here at BrainForest are taking the IndyCar protocol to a more detailed level by not only getting the same eye-tracking metrics that IndyCar uses but also incorporating vital brain mapping technology as a further baseline metric. We utilize this technology not only for the weekend warrior race driver but for the professional Motorsports ranks as well. We are also implementing Peak Performance brain training to the drivers who seek out our program as a necessary part to make them a better driver both on the track and off. We call this program The BrainForest Center Competitive Edge Program!