'All helmets do a poor job of preventing concussions': doctor

The Equipment guy consults a concussion expert with a reader's question about a helmet's ability to prevent concussions.

An Our Game reader asks about the Cascade helmet's ability to prevent concussions

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Now for today's question.

It comes from an Our Game reader in response to a previous question asking about the new Cascade helmet Mark Messier has been marketing, which contends 'Concussions have a new enemy.'

Q: Does the Cascade helmet help prevent concussions? A lot of blah blah about the company, but what about the helmet?

A: We directed this question to the guy who knows everything about equipment — Ron Kuipers. Ron did his research, and here's what he had to report on the Cascade bucket:

I directed this question to Dr. Charles Tator who is one of North America's leading authorities on concussions, and he said the Cascade helmet and every other hockey helmet on the market today does very little to prevent concussions.

"There is no scientific evidence that one brand of helmet is any better than another for preventing concussions," says Dr. Tator.  "In fact, all helmets do a poor job of preventing concussions because concussions are mainly due to acceleration or deceleration of the brain and helmets have almost no effect on these forces."

Dr. Tator also says almost all hockey players who get concussions are wearing reputable helmets that offer other forms of head protection.

"Helmets do a good job of preventing other types of brain injuries, such as bruising or tearing of the brain, but not concussions," he said. "To reduce concussions, we have to concentrate on eliminating hits/checks to the head."