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Q-Collar, Which Protects The Brain From Repeated Blows, Now Available


Joe Lemire

Q30 Innovations has made its Q-Collar—a C-shaped neck-worn device designed to help protect the brain from impacts—available in the U.S. market for the first time. In February, the FDA approved the Q-Collar to market itself as aiding “in the protection of the brain from the effects associated with repetitive sub-concussive head impacts.” It is, to date, the only such device to receive that permission.

The Q-Collar works by lightly compressing the jugular veins in order to increase blood volume in the brain and reduce the “slosh,” or untethered movement, around the skull. It has not been shown to prevent concussion or other traumatic brain injuries, but in more than two dozen clinical and laboratory studies, the device has been shown to reduce the effects of regular impact. It is intended to be worn in conjunction with a sport’s normal protective equipment, such as helmets, but has shown efficacy in non-helmeted sports, such as girls’ soccer.

The notice explaining the FDA designation cited a study of 284 high school football players—roughly half of whom wore the Q-Collar —during which all of them underwent pre- and postseason MRIs. In the cohort that wore the Q-Collar, 77% showed no significant changes in brain white matter. In the group that did not wear the collar, only 27% had no significant change.

“Over the past decade, coaches, athletes,