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Are football head injuries more than concussions?

 
 
Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2015 11:49 am
Just read in the The Week that 1/3 of NFL football players have head injuries that cause some kind of cognitive disorder. Any truth in that?
 
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2015 12:30 pm
Why should it not be true? It sounds quite likely. There is concern in Britain about head injuries to Rugby football players (a similar rough-contact game in many ways).

BBC News, 18 November 2014 wrote:
Multiple blows to the head from playing rugby may accelerate brain ageing and potentially lead to early dementia, according to a Welsh academic.

Prof Damian Bailey carried out research on 280 current and retired players.

The International Rugby Board (IRB) already accepts there could be a link between repetitive head injuries and long-term problems.

Prof Bailey's work is yet to be published but could be the first study suggesting a clearer link.

And...
Quote:
Mr Bailey, a professor of physiology and biochemistry at the University of South Wales told the BBC's Week In Week Out programme: "We've run some very well controlled scientific investigations and there are two primary findings. The first is that in young players repetitive concussions can have a negative impact on the way the brain functions - certainly in terms of the way it regulates blood flow to itself which we think is an important part of brain health.

"Secondly, when you then translate this to the retired player, who's retired from the international game, so these are players that have played at the very top end of the game - the negative effects we think of these repetitive concussions can conspire to impair the way players can remember and formulate ideas if you like.

"So it accelerates brain ageing and increases susceptibility potentially to onset dementia and we've got evidence to suggest that that's the case as well."

Rickoshay75
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2015 12:41 pm
@contrex,
contrex wrote:

Why should it not be true? It sounds quite likely.



It's a good way for a football pro to explain his goof ups -- "sorry coach, my cognitive disorder kicked in again"
ossobuco
 
  3  
Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2015 03:00 pm
@Rickoshay75,
It tends to show up slower than that - somewhat slower, or quite a bit slower. You could do with some reading about it, there's a lot available to read online.
I don't take it as joke material, unless it's between players.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2015 09:15 pm
@Rickoshay75,
There is a lot of truth in it.

It's more about the cumulative effect of many small head injuries and it isn't a "sorry, coach" situation since the impact of all the injuries usually presents problems later in life.

My kid plays football and I take it VERY seriously.
Rickoshay75
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2015 04:35 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

There is a lot of truth in it.

It's more about the cumulative effect of many small head injuries and it isn't a "sorry, coach" situation since the impact of all the injuries usually presents problems later in life.

My kid plays football and I take it VERY seriously.


What football players need is safer helmets.
FOUND SOUL
 
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Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2015 04:47 pm
@Rickoshay75,
All contact sports presents itself with possible injuries. Just look at the cricketer that was killed by a ball that hit his neck. No headwear protection could have possibly have saved him.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2015 04:49 pm
@Rickoshay75,
Better helmets have been studied/explored for quite a while now; there are various difficulties with that.
Rickoshay75
 
  0  
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2015 05:13 pm
@ossobuco,
ossobuco wrote:

Better helmets have been studied/explored for quite a while now; there are various difficulties with that.


They do have rubber pads inside their helmets, but not much softer sponge rubber, because it's not as durable.
boomerang
 
  3  
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2015 10:26 pm
@Rickoshay75,
The helmets my kid's team uses are the top of the line for non-custom made helmets. They use a series of inflatable pouches that can be pumped up to fit a particular head.

The problem is that even the best helmets only prevent the skull from bashing into things -- they don't prevent the brain from bashing into the skull. Much like what you hear about shaken baby syndrome, it's the brain sloshing around and banging into the skull that does the damage. The damage happens every time the skull stops moving before the brain does, which is really every time there is a sudden impact. Over time even small repeated injuries add up to substantial damage.

No helmet will ever prevent it from happening.

There is some new technology coming up that might help. Most notably is a chin strap that measures the force of impact and calculates the time a player should sit out before rejoining the game -- IF they're allowed to rejoin the game at all.

There are also some new computer apps that a coach can make the player run through that measures cognitive ability following an impact. If a player can't pass certain field tests they aren't allowed back in.

Concussion treatment has changed dramatically over the last few years. Each year the coaches in my kid's league have to attend a seminar on concussion management so that they're aware of the latest research.
0 Replies
 
 

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