The Problem with Concussions in University Athletes

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Concussions in University Athletes
By

Presented to Dr. K. Brebner
in Psychology 100
Introduction to Psychology

Department of Psychology
St. Francis Xavier University

November 6, 2012

Concussions can go unnoticed or untreated in athletes by team coaches and doctors, this is not their fault or a result of poor training. Athletes tend to try to hide their symptoms from a coach or trainer in order to keep playing. An athlete may feel an obligation to his or her teammates to stay in the game. This could be because of an important game or a leadership role on the team. Whatever the reason, these athletes are doing more harm than good to themselves and their team.

Concussions are hard to define since doctors and scientists still know little about them. Ultimately, a concussion is a complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain, induced by traumatic biomechanical forces or a direct blow to the head, face or elsewhere on the body with an impulsive force transmitted to the head (Alan B. Ashare. 2009). The symptoms of a concussion vary. Typically a concussed person will experience mental clouding, headache, and dizziness. Severe symptoms have been reported such as vomiting and loss of consciousness (Anthony P Kontos, Michael Collins and Stephen A. Russo. 2004). Symptoms are often experienced up to six to eight weeks post injury and have even been documented up to six months after (Anthony P. Kontos, Michael Collins, Stephen A. Russo. 2004). If symptoms are not visible they have to be self-reported which allows athletes to hide their concussions. The most efficient way to stop athletes from being able to hide their concussions and to test a possible victim for a concussion is to do a series of tests before and after the concussion occurs. An Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive test (ImPACT) is used before the athlete plays their sport so they have a baseline to compare to in case of a concussion. An ImPACT test...
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