Concussions In Professional Football

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Concussions have become a mainstream problem for football, from Pee-Wee football to the National Football League. In 2015, there were approximately 4 million sports and recreational activity related concussions, 60% of those basing from football (Brain Injury Research Institute). Amateur and professional football players alike wear protective gear to reduce the likelihood of sustaining injury while playing the game of football, but despite that, studies have shown that retired NFL players who suffered multiple concussions showcase dementia-like brain damage, recently discovered as C.T.E. (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy), which is associated with more substantial rates of memory loss, depression, and even suicide. These same studies also show …show more content…
But how effective are these?
A concussion is a type of brain injury caused from shaking of the brain inside the skull due to a hit or blow to the head, and even the body. The brain is an organ, soft in nature, that is surrounded by CSF, or cerebrospinal fluid, in order to protect from the skull. The fluid around the brain is cushion-like and keeps one’s brain from coming in contact with their skull at a normal state. But when one’s head or body is hit hard enough, their brain can collide with your skull and become injured (What CTE Is and Why Athletes Need to Know About It). Because of a concussion being the after effect of the brain coming in contact within the skull, there is no external signs of having one. A common misconception is that one has to lose consciousness to have obtained a concussion. This is far from true, though. According to “What CTE Is and Why Athletes Need to Know About It”, “Some people will have obvious symptoms of a concussion, such as passing out or forgetting what happened right before the injury, but other people won 't.” This makes it harder to determine if someone, indeed, does have a concussion. Because of one’s lack of knowledge of their diagnosis, this can cause more damage to the brain due to one not giving the
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Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, is found in people who have suffered repetitive brain trauma, including concussions or hard hits to the head, most of the time not causing immediate effects (Gandy et. all). NCBI claims this disease was previously called dementia pugilistica, it was originally found in boxers, but more and more football players are being diagnosed each year. C.T.E. is a disease that has just recently been discovered in 2002, by Dr. Bennet Omalu. Dr. Omalu was conducting an autopsy on former Steelers center Mike Webster, while going through basic procedure, Omula found nearly nothing wrong with the Hall of Famers brain. This struck Omalu with confusion due to Webster’s sudden death at an early age and previous history with struggling cognitively, mood disorders, drug abuse, depression, intellectual impairment, and suicide attempts. According to James Fussell from The Kansas City Star, this pushed Omalu to conduct an independent and self-financed tissue analyses. Omalu reported that through his tests, he found deposits of tau protein all throughout the brain. Tau proteins are the stabilizer for microtubules. These proteins are abundant in nerve cells (Mandal). Dr. Ananya Mandal says, “When Tau proteins become defective and fail to adequately stabilize microtubules,

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