Australian MMA fighter uses virtual reality to help fight devastating rise in concussions: ‘I want to remember my name when I grow up’
- Wollongong fighter pioneers use of technology to control concussions
- NeuroFlex uses virtual reality headset to test brain activity
- The technology is designed to stop fighters from returning to the ring early
- Athletes Amena Hadaya and Colby Thicknesse volunteered to test the technology
An Australian mixed martial artist from Wollongong is the first to use the new technology in virtual reality to treat a concussion.
The management of head injuries is currently under focus in several major sports regulations – and is now more closely monitored in combat sports.
Amena Hadaya, 24, was preparing to make her mixed martial arts (MMA) debut and decided to volunteer to be one of the first in her sport to test a new technology designed to revolutionize brain injury management.
Amena Hadaya (pictured), 24, was preparing to make her mixed martial arts (MMA) debut and decided to volunteer to be one of the first people in her sport to test new technology aimed at revolutionizing the management of defamation in the brain
Wollongong rising star Colby Thicknesse (pictured), who has suffered three concussions this year, is another fighter who has decided to volunteer to test new technology
“Obviously this (MMA) affects us when we grow up,” she told the ABC.
“My mom keeps telling me this, she’s a nurse.
“You just need to take the right precautions before it affects you later and develops a chronic disease.”
Australian-Canadian company NeuroFlex has developed a virtual reality headset that tracks eye and head movements to establish a baseline of participants’ brain health.
The user is then tested against that baseline after a head swipe to determine when the brain has healed and if it is safe to return to play.
Wollongong rising star Colby Sikness, who has already suffered three concussions this year, is another fighter who has decided to volunteer to test new technology.
Thicknesse Says You Can Recover From Knee, Hip and Arm Injuries — But There’s Nothing You Can Do About Your Brain
The 23-year-old said: “I’ve had some pain so I need to make sure I tick all the boxes and do everything right so I don’t come back too soon and suffer longer term consequences. .” Might one day be in a UFC fight.
“You might have a knee injury, a hip injury, an arm injury, anything you might have injured can recover normally, but if you have a serious brain injury, there’s not much you can do.”
MMA has grown in popularity over the past 15 years, and clinical neuropsychologist Jeff Rogers says fighters using headsets are a great way to manage head injuries and collect data to protect future athletes.
“We’re just beginning to understand the impact of one concussion, let alone the cumulative impact of four to six concussions over a lifetime,” he said.
MMA has grown in popularity over the past 15 years, and clinical neuropsychologist Jeff Rogers says fighters using headsets are a great way to manage head injuries and collect data to protect future athletes
‘[We] Great to be part of the process of starting to build up really good hard evidence…starting to guide some of these professional bodies and professional codes.
Concussion players at this year’s World Cup in Qatar will also use NeuroFlex headsets as part of FIFA’s broadest agreement to deploy at major football tournaments.