Drs. Niesel and Herzog Medical Discovery News - bridging the world of medical discovery and you...
HomeAbout UsRadio ShowsPodcastListener QuestionsRadio StationsContactsReliable LinksStudents

Radio Shows | Football Concussions | mp3wmawav

The pass down the middle is perfect, hitting the receiver in mid stride. He turns to go up field, when he's slammed by a 250-pound linebacker.

The crowd goes nuts and the play-by-play announcer shouts about the hit heard inside the booth. But, the stadium goes quiet when the player doesn't get up.

The next day, you hear the news: the receiver suffered a concussion. But, what exactly is a concussion?

It's a brain injury caused by a blow to the head. It results in the temporary loss of normal brain function. Concussions vary in severity and may involve the loss of consciousness.

Most people don't realize the brain is soft and floats inside the skull, cushioned by spinal fluid. That's why the impact of a tackle can cause the brain to hit the inside of the skull and bruise.

Depending on the severity of the blow, there can be torn blood vessels and damaged nerve fibers. If the concussion is severe, the brain can swell and compress against the skull, cutting off blood flow to parts of the brain.

Experts emphasize, although some concussions are less serious than others, there is no such thing as a minor concussion.

In most cases, a single concussion should not cause permanent damage. A second concussion soon after the first, however, does not have to be severe to be deadly or permanently disabling.

Ted Johnson, the former Patriots linebacker suffers from depression and early Alzheimer's. He's only 34. Another player, Justin Strzelczyk (STRELL-zick), who died in a car crash, had a brain that resembled boxers with dementia.

So, the next time you see a bone crushing tackle, and start to cheer, think about the player who took the hit. Shaking off a concussion and re-entering the game is not a risk they should take.

Click here to email this page to a friend.

For more information…

HealthLink provided by The Medical College of Wisconsin includes a feature on the growing concern about sports concussions in young and adult athletes. This article includes discussion about the signs, symptoms and current research efforts in this area.

A study, conducted by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers and colleagues, found that repeated concussions brought on by blows to the head during their football playing days significantly boost the chances that retired professional football players will suffer dementias such as mild cognitive impairment in later life as well as a 37% higher risk for Alzheimer's.
For more information…

Research presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 52nd Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA, April 29 May 6, 2000, indicates that more than half of retired players surveyed had experienced concussions. As a group, these players were more likely to have neurological complaints, ranging from memory problems to numbness in their extremities, later in life.
For more information…

The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) is an organization that speaks for neurosurgeons. The AANS is dedicated to advancing the specialty of neurological surgery in order to promote the highest quality of patient care.
For more information…

The American College of Sports Medicine promotes and integrates scientific research, education, and practical applications of sports medicine and exercise science to maintain and enhance physical performance, fitness, health, and quality of life. They have reported on the issue of concussions in football including recommendations for team physicians to properly evaluate, diagnose and treat concussions.
For more information…

KidsHealth is the largest and most-visited site on the Web providing doctor-approved health information about children from before birth through adolescence. Created by The Nemours Foundation's Center for Children's Health Media. They include a very informative article for parents about concussions in kids.
For more information…


home | about us | radio shows | podcast | listener questions | radio stations | contact us | links | students | disclaimer

2006-2007 Drs. David Niesel and Norbert Herzog. All Rights Reserved.
The University of Texas Medical Branch. Please review our site policies.
Send mail to J. Junemann with questions or comments about this web site.