Concussion

Image titleConcussion. Getting your bell rung. A hit on the head.

All three phrases tend to carry the same indifference in the minds of fans and even athletes.

Just a little bruise on the brain. Give it a good nights sleep and we are good, right?

Research is proving this mindset detrimental, not only to the brains of proffessional athletes, but to kids in the locker room, and soldiers fighting over seas.

In the past years, it has been discoved that professional boxers, and now proffessional football players are developing protein in their brain called tau, which causes Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE, a form of dementia...and it links directly to years of hits on the head, as seen in John McMahon's story.

The NFL's response in admitting the damage seen in the brains of football players was related to the hits they were recieving playing the game was a long time in coming, but after numerous brain injury related suicides in the proffessional football world, fault is being linked to the concussions sustained during America's favorite sport. (Timeline of the NFL Concussion Crisis)

But boxers and football players are not the only ones dealing with degenerative brain diseases due to repeated concussions. Our soldiers and veterans are showing signs of the same protein in their brains. This is developed through the concussions regularly recieved in service, be it from a known injury, or even from the deep jarring recieved from the vibrations of a nearby explosion.

For more information on this see these links as well:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkxcYuJ4su0

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/Nejmoa072972


But mulitple concussions sustained over years are not something that highschoolers or their families consider when a concussion is diagnosed on the athletic fields. Infact, young athletes, whether that be a cheerleader or a football player, rarely understand the dangers of secondary impact sydrome, when making the decision to get back on the field. A lot of the time they don't understand the reality of what a concussion is and how it can affect them for weeks and even months after the injury, and may hide the fact that they are seeing stars or are feeling dizzy. Check out the stories below for personal testemonies of how a "simple" concussion can cause upheaval in the lives of the patient and family members:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxlSzJvNysM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4OsDXAz-Wo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3K1RMZ1p98&index=37&list=PLFB3704BC51717BE8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yK6XMpCooTg&index=10&list=PLFB3704BC51717BE8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7DxrnJi9-M


Some vital things for athletes, coaches, friends and family to understand about a concussion are:

  • Most concussions do not involve loss of consciousness

  • Concussions will generally not show up on CAT scans, MRIs or X-rays

  • A concussion is generally "invisible" but the symptoms are not

  • Some symptoms become visible days, weeks or even months after the injury

  • Multiple concussions can cause cumulative and long-lasting life change

  • A concussion is almost always linked to a neck injury (meaning that both neck and head are injured), both of which are dangerous in themselves, and together, can be deadly or even have long-term effects. Get checked out right away (and don't forget to check the neck)!!!

  • Concussions can cause mood changes and insomnia. Anger, depression, headaches, trouble sleeping, and even suicidal thoughs can be caused by a concussion. If you or someone you love is experiencing these side affects, seek proffessional guidence immediently.

  • A concussion can be either a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). You can't see it, but it must be taken seriously, cared for and given time to heal. Be patient with yourself or your loved one.

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