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  • Immediate and Transient Alteration in Brain Function Induced by Firearm Recoil

    Final Number:

    Jon Sinopoli

    Study Design:

    Subject Category:

    Meeting: Congress of Neurological Surgeons 2017 Annual Meeting

    Introduction: Many investigations have been conducted to research the neurological effects high impact sports have on the brain. Shooting sports and firearms in general, have been neglected, with minimal, if any, research conducted on the effect that this high impact sport has on the brain. The purpose of this study is to examine the force and acceleration on the shoulder and cheek weld of five different caliber firearms and to identify if they can exert concussive forces.

    Methods: A unique apparatus, butt holster, and algorithm were custom designed and built to measure and analyze the force and acceleration of the five firearms.

    Results: Four of the five firearms tested, registered peak g-force accelerations above 75 g, the acceleration required to cause a concussion (Gever D, 2007) and up to 195.29 g. Firearms can generate enough acceleration to cause a concussion on their own without the reduction in acceleration caused by the human body. Continued testing was conducted with a triaxial accelerometer. This accelerometer was placed noninvasively on the zygomatic bone of an individual to test if concussive forces were still present even after the reduction in acceleration caused by the human body. Current data suggests firearm recoil can translate as high as 185.16 g to the skull of an individual.

    Conclusions: Based on the 75 g range firearms can cause concussions. Future studies should be conducted to compare accelerations and measure rotational forces with an array of accelerometers placed on the head.

    Patient Care: In the future this research may provide individuals, such as those in the military, competitive shooters and even everyday people a way to safely discharge firearms and reduce the number of firearm related injuries.

    Learning Objectives: By the conclusion of this session, participants should be able to: 1) Understand the importance of how daily tasks can become potential hazards in our everyday lives and leave a physical impact. 2) More properly diagnose patients who may be suffering from a firearm related concussion.

    References: Blankenship, Kenneth, et al. Shoulder-fired weapons with high recoil energy: Quantifying injury and shooting performance. No. USARIEM-TR-T04-05. ARMY RESEARCH INST OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE NATICK MA MILITARY PERFORMANCEDIV, 2004. Mac Donald CL, Johnson AM, Cooper D, et al. Detection of Blast-Related Traumatic Brain Injury in U.S. Military Personnel. The New England journal of medicine. 2011;364(22):2091-2100. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1008069 Barth, Jeffrey T. et al, Acceleration-Deceleration Sport-Related Concussion: The Gravity of It All. Journal of Athletic Training 36.3 (2001): 253–256. Print. Mehdi Ahmadian and James C. Poynor, An Evaluation of Magneto Rheological Dampers for Controlling Gun Recoil Dynamics, Shock and Vibration, vol. 8, no. 3-4, pp. 147-155, 2001. doi:10.1155/2001/674830 U.S. Department of Defense design criteria standard, noise limits, AMSC 9542, Washington, DC. MIL-STD-1474E, 15 April. 2015. Matthew J. Hall, Measuring felt recoil of sporting arms, International Journal of Impact Engineering, Volume 35, Issue 6, June 2008, Pages 540-548, ISSN 0734-743X, 07 March. 2007. Brain Injury Research Institute (B.I.R.I.). 2016. What is a concussion? Web Page. Moon Township, PA. B. Canfield-Hershkowitz, T. Foster, W. Meijer, Rifle and Shotgun Recoil Test System. Requirements for the Degree Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, December. 2013. Gever D, Any football helmet hit can cause potential concussion. MedPage Today. 07 December. 2007. Concussion Signs and Symptoms. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 Feb. 2015. Web. 05 March. 2017.

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