BRAIN CONCUSSIONS; THREAT TO A GENERATION.
CONCUSSIONS: CHOOSE YOUR SPORT CAREFULLY.
They were called the greatest generation, heroes of the depression era, World War II and the Korean war, and all the world hailed and adored them. They went on to become leaders of Industry, Teachers, Lawyers, Doctors, Professors, Nurses and Business people. You can truly say that the greatest generation helped shape America.
The greatest generation is aged, aging and dying, but some surviving elements of that generation have also been called ''the forgetful generation. The culprit here is Alzheimers. This disease has robbed some members of the greatest generation of their liveliness, laughter, character and dreams. Alzheimers also caused many children of this generation anguish and pain; the pain of seeing loved ones confused and forgetful, and feeling powerless to do anything about it.
If you think the effect of Alzheimers on the greatest generation is troubling and sad, it is nothing compared to what will happen to your children if they keep getting sports hits and those troubling ''sports concussions'',
A concussion is an injury to the brain that can cause a variety of symptoms. It's usually caused by a blow to the head, but it can be caused by a significant hit to the body that results in the brain rattling within the skull. A concusssion does not always involve a loss of consciousness, so in most cases it is difficult to diagnose. Concussion in sports can happen during drills, practices and games. Injuries during practice can be just as serious as those that happen during competition.
Symptoms of concusion include headaches, vision disturbances, dizziness, loss of balance, confusion, memory loss (called amnesia), ringing in the ears, difficulty concentrating, nausea, feeling foggy or groggy, sensitivity to light or noise. Concussions are dangerous and life threatening, and over time they manifest themselves in forgetfulness, stupor and even brain damage.
Many of our children would have had two or more concussions while playing Varsity or High school football, but the incidents increase in frequency and intensity as sports carrers advance in College and the Pros.
The incidents of concussion are so signicantly troubling that many medical institutions have commissioned studies to learn more about this phenomenom. Many a high school, college and pro sports player has been killed or incaparcitated by exposure to repeated concussions.
The danger of concussions are so significant, that the American Academy of Neurology has recommended that any student athlete suspected of having a concussion be removed from play and evaluated by a health professional experienced in managing concussion. Student athletes should be cleared by a doctor before returning to play.
What I consider wake up calls to the danger of concussions are two recent studies at the University of Pittsburgh and the McGill University Neurological Institute that conclusively linked cumulative concussions to the deterioration of brain function, and to mental diseases, including early-onset Alzheimer's and Dementia.
Yes Parents, researchers have studied the brains of athletes in High impact sports; they have found the same degree of brain damage and brain cell death in High school kids, as you see in senior citizens with Alzheimers. As if this is not scary enough, there is imperical evidence that concussions cause forgetfulness even in High school. Imagine if all our football players and High impact athletes manifested this symptoms at some point in future, that will make for a scary forgetful future.
As a Boston sports fan, I have seen concussions first hand with Patriots players and Bruins players. I have seen players return to the game prematurely for fear of losing their place, even though they clearly did not look stable. I am thankful that these pro teams have now reached a level of realization, and are now working to limit the exposure to multiple concussions.
Now that the pros are protecting their millionaires, the question becomes, who is protecting your children? Who is monitoring for these concussions and making sure that ''bells are not continously rung''. The future of you children is at stake, so the question becomes, how badly do you want that stardom? Will you sacrifice their health for stardom and a scholarship?.
I am under no illusion that High impact sports are going to diminish in popularity, or that people will bocott high impact sports. I am not asking that that happens. I am advocating however for parents to start paying closer attention to how their children are managed on the playing field. Make sure the call is right, and your starry eyed kid is not exploited at the expense of his/her health. Your children are you most prized belonging, you have to protect their brains, and in effect their future.
Say no to premature re-entry; Say no to multiple concussions.