Effects of Concussions in Football
CONCUSSIONS IN FOOTBALL 2
Football has become the most popular sport in America. Boys start playing at the age of 6 and, if they turn pro, could play into their 30’s or even 40’s. Some people will say, “They know what they’re signing up for” or “The players choose to play the game”. Just because they may choose to play the game, does that mean that they don’t deserve the very best protection that technology can afford them. I don’t think so. The more we learn about what “playing the game’ can do to the human body, in particular the brain, it only makes sense that we use the latest technology to help prevent as much damage as we can.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), a concussion is not a bruise to the brain caused by hitting a hard surface. No physical swelling or bleeding is usually seen on radiological scans. The injury generally occurs when the head either accelerates rapidly and then is stopped, or is spun rapidly. This violent shaking causes the brain cells to become depolarized and fire all their neurotransmitters at once in an unhealthy cascade, flooding the brain with chemicals and deadening certain receptors linked to learning and memory. The results often include confusion, blurred vision, memory loss, nausea and, sometimes, unconsciousness. Neurologists say once a person suffers a concussion, he is as much as four times more likely to sustain a second one. After several concussions, it takes less of a blow to cause the injury and requires more time to recover.
A study done in 2000 surveyed 1,090 former N.F.L. players and found more than 60 percent had suffered at least one concussion in their careers and 26 percent sustained three or more. Those who suffered concussions reported more problems with memory, concentration, speech impediments, headaches and other neurological problems than those who had not, the survey found...