Traumatic Brain Injuries and Sport

2356 Words10 Pages
Unlike prescription commercials, sports do not come with a list of associated risks, but if they did it might sound something like nausea, dizziness, loss of brain function and in severe cases death. However, North Americans are not consulting their doctors before use. Even with protective layers like the skull bone and meninges the brain is susceptible to traumatic injury. Traumatic brain injures occur when there is a blow, strike or contact with the head that leads to a change in brain function. Medical professionals have long known that blows or rapid acceleration or deceleration of the head causes traumas such as concussion, hematoma, cerebral contusion and dementia pugilistica. Immediate signs such as loss of consciousness, dizziness, nausea and confusion are alarming, but it is the more severe long term effects that are causing an uproar in the world of sports. Research is showing ever more that sports related head injuries are causing long lasting brain damage. Nowadays, North American families are thinking twice before enrolling their children in sports, especially those involving contact. The sport and medical worlds need to more fully appreciate the the long lasting consequences of traumatic brain injuries sustained in sports. As it stands, the view of traumatic brain injuries in sports has lead to haphazard rules of prevention. Current return to play procedures are rarely used effectively and athletes are risking their brain health for sport. Neuropsychological tests are attempting to better asses head injuries, but research on their effectiveness is unclear. Another pressing issue is that depression often follows instances of traumatic brain injury. Perhaps most concerning of all is the length some sport leagues are g... ... middle of paper ... reduce the amount of traumatic brain injuries , but research is showing these changes are unsuccessful in reducing rates of traumatic brain injury . Research shows that there remains a general lack of effective rules to prevent traumatic brain injury in sports. Furthermore, legislation has not been created to promote the use of helmets, even with evidence to support their capability to reduce the number of traumatic brain injuries and the severity of injury when they do occur. Return to play procedures and neuropsychological test batteries are being implemented in the sports world, but their validity in accessing disappearance of symptoms and recovery is inconsistent in effectiveness. These poorly executed rules of prevent, procedures of return to play and neurological assessments are leading to re-injury and increasing a players risk of Second Impact Syndrome.
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