Head Trauma In Athletes

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A. Background In recent years, there has been an increase in research investigating the long-term effects of repeated head trauma on the brain, especially in athletes. Following his discovery of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), Dr. Bennet Omalu inspired a movement of research aimed at establishing better safety standards and protocols in football. It was not until 2002 that the initial connection between repetitive head trauma, such as concussions, and brain injury was suspected (Ott, 2015). As common as concussions were during the late 1970s and 1980s, they were often swept under the rug, as they were seen as insignificant injuries. Researchers and doctors had little information on the proper management and care of someone who sustained There were 2,350 participants in this study with each player being enrolled in any one of the Ivy League schools, University of Virginia, or University of Pittsburgh. Players who experienced a mild head injury during practice or a game were removed from the field to be examined and assessed for “cognitive and psychosocial dysfunction through the use of neuropsychological techniques and self reported questionnaires up to four times after injury” (Barth, et al., 1989). In order for a player to be diagnosed with a mild head injury, he must have had either a head contact injury or a complete loss of consciousness that lasted under two minutes and displayed some sort of memory and/or attention deficient. The results of Barth’s study showed that there were 195 documented mild head injuries. Of these injuries, 56% of them occurred during a game, as opposed to during practice. The players who received the most injuries were the offense linemen followed by the defensive back and then the defensive lineman. The most common activity in which players sustained a mild head injury was by blocking an opponent and the most common mechanism of injury was a helmet-to-helmet collision. A headache was the number one symptom reported by players who experienced a concussion (Barth, et al., The goal is to achieve and to attain certain knowledge of concussions and proper helmet safety and to propose new suggestions to help decrease the incidence of sports-related concussions. B. Research Questions The research questions being proposed in this paper include but are not limited the following • How well do helmets prevent concussions from occurring and prevent the development of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)? • Is there one helmet that is better at protecting players against concussion than the others on the market? • Is there any protective equipment besides helmets that football players should be wearing to prevent concussions? • What is the current National Football League (NFL) concussion protocol? • Is there significant evidence to show that the NFL is successful in decreasing or increasing concussion rates? • Are there other things that the NFL should be doing to help prevent

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