Concussion: For the Love of the Game?
A 2000 study of 1,090 former NFL players found that at least 60% had suffered at least one concussion throughout their careers. And according to the Centers for Disease control and Prevention, concussions account for one in every ten sports injuries. Sounds like it’s just part of the game, right?
A concussion is a form of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI), but don’t let the name fool you. The term “Mild” in MBTI doesn’t refer to the severity of the injury, but rather to the length of time one is unconscious or unaware of their environment. TBIs are classified as follows: Mild: zero-60 minutes, Moderate: 1-24 hours, Severe: Anything more than 24 hours.
Although the injury itself may seem like a short-term problem, cured completely once the individual regains consciousness and awareness, concussions actually can have serious and lasting side effects. Some of these are headaches & migraines, memory loss,sleeping problems, lack of focus, and a lack of balance or equilibrium.
A 2009 Study conducted by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research found that former NFL players aged 30-49 were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and other memory problems NINETEEN times more than the normal rate for men in that age group. The same study showed that retired NFL players aged 50 and over were diagnosed with Dementia five times more than the normal rate.
It is becoming more and more apparent that concussions and MBTIs are no run-of-the-mill scrape or bruise; They are serious injuries that can have detrimental long term effects for the individuals who sustain them. With these staggering findings the NFL (and all other fields of athletics from professional hockey to little league baseball) are going to have to come up with better preventative and post-concussive treatments for athletes. The risks are simply too great to ignore.
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