A novel head-neck cooling device for concussion injury in contact sports

Huan Wang, Bonnie Wang, Kevin Jackson, Claire M. Miller, Linda Hasadsri, Daniel Llano, Rachael Rubin, Jarred Zimmerman, Curtis Johnson, Brad Sutton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Emerging research on the long-term impact of concussions on athletes has allowed public recognition of the potentially devastating effects of these and other mild head injuries. Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is a multifaceted disease for which management remains a clinical challenge. Recent pre-clinical and clinical data strongly suggest a destructive synergism between brain temperature elevation and mTBI; conversely, brain hypothermia, with its broader, pleiotropic effects, represents the most potent neuro-protectant in laboratory studies to date. Although well-established in selected clinical conditions, a systemic approach to accomplish regional hypothermia has failed to yield an effective treatment strategy in traumatic brain injury (TBI). Furthermore, although systemic hypothermia remains a potentially valid treatment strategy for moderate to severe TBIs, it is neither practical nor safe for mTBIs. Therefore, selective head-neck cooling may represent an ideal strategy to provide therapeutic benefits to the brain. Optimizing brain temperature management using a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) spacesuit spinoff head-neck cooling technology before and/or after mTBI in contact sports may represent a sensible, practical, and effective method to potentially enhance recover and minimize post-injury deficits. In this paper, we discuss and summarize the anatomical, physiological, preclinical, and clinical data concerning NASA spinoff head-neck cooling technology as a potential treatment for mTBIs, particularly in the context of contact sports.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-31
Number of pages12
JournalTranslational Neuroscience
StatePublished - 2015


  • Brain hypothermia
  • Brain temperature
  • Head-neck cooling
  • Mild traumatic brain injury
  • Sports

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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