Unique concussion study together Folksam and Equestrian federation

December 4, 2023

At Brainsafe, we are excited to announce our pivotal role in a groundbreaking research initiative alongside Folksam and the Swedish Equestrian Federation, in collaboration with the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg. This collaborative effort focuses on unraveling the complexities of concussions within equestrian sports, aiming to transform our understanding of head injuries and their lasting impacts on riders.

“Just wearing a helmet is not enough. Concussions are a prevalent concern for riders, and it’s essential to delve deeper into this issue for the well-being of our equestrian community,” says Justus Bejnö, CEO of Brainsafe. “Our involvement in this research project reflects our commitment to leveraging technology and medical expertise to ensure the safety and health of riders worldwide.”

A recent report from Folksam underscores the vulnerability of riders’ heads, revealing an alarming rate of nearly 12 head injuries per week. In response, our collaborative research project seeks to investigate whether blood tests can effectively differentiate between concussions leading to temporary symptoms and those resulting in lasting complications. By analyzing specific brain proteins in blood samples, researchers can gauge the severity of head injuries through routine blood tests.

What sets this study apart is its unique focus on equestrian sports, where both men and women train and compete on equal terms. In contrast to sports with significant gender-based rule differences, equestrian sports provide researchers with an unprecedented opportunity to study male and female riders under identical conditions.

In tandem with Brainsafe’s cutting-edge rehabilitation and data collection platform, participants in the study will receive personalized advice and support from the Swedish Equestrian Federation’s team doctor. Spanning two years, the project aims to follow riders within the Swedish Equestrian Federation who have experienced concussions over time.

Dr. Margareta Rödén, Team Doctor for the Swedish Equestrian Federation, emphasizes, “We encourage every rider to actively contribute to this significant research initiative, shaping a safer future for equestrian sports.”

Riders sustaining concussions during competitions will be informed about the opportunity to participate in the study. Additionally, riders experiencing concussions during training are encouraged to reach out to the team doctor if they wish to contribute to this pioneering research.

According to a recent Folksam report analyzing injuries from 2017 to 2021, head injuries are the most prevalent among riders. With approximately 155,000 individuals insured through Folksam within the Swedish Equestrian Federation, around 0.9% or 1400 riders suffer injuries annually. Notably, the data underscores that the head is the most vulnerable body part, with approximately twelve riders per week sustaining head injuries.


Read the full press release from Folksam here: