Articles Posted in Brain injuries in sports

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In the fight against traumatic brain injuries, technology is a major piece of the puzzle. Medical professionals work with engineers and designers to create equipment that better protects and treats these potentially fatal injuries. One of the latest technologies seems like a sure bet, but its implementation is causing concern for one of the largest sporting organizations in the world.

Sporting goods manufacturer Riddell introduced InSite in 2013. The sensors are placed inside of helmets and provide coaches with valuable information about blows sustained by players.

According to an article in Newsweek, the technology does the following:
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World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is one of the most popular and profitable sporting ventures in the United States. On a weekly basis, millions of viewers tune in to watch their favorite wrestlers battle in the ring. The luckiest of fans get to see the matches in person, as the stars of the WWE travel across the country to give entertaining performances that are filled with body slams, kicks and jumps from the top rope. But the moves that are so beloved by fans may lead to long term brain injuries, as alleged by a lawsuit that was recently filed against the WWE.

Newsweek is reporting that three former wrestlers filed suit against the organization in California. Russ McCullough (a/k/a Big Russ McCullough), Ryan Sakoda and Matt Wiese (a/k/a Luther Reigns) are reportedly seeking damages, with claims that WWE officials purposely hid information regarding the potential dangers of traumatic brain injuries. The legal complaint states the organization “has for decades subjected its wrestlers to extreme physical brutality that it knew, or should have known, caused…latent conditions and long term irreversible bodily damage, including brain damage.” The former wrestlers also reportedly allege that they were forced to fight, even when suffering from concussions and other injuries.
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Recent headlines are filled with stories about the dangers of traumatic brain injuries among players in the National Football League (NFL). The aggressive hitting that intrinsically accompanies the game creates an environment where players are at substantial risk for blows to the head. As players advance in age, the possible long term effects become obvious, leading to an abundance of legal actions against the league. A class action lawsuit alleges that NFL leaders purposely withheld information about the potential ramifications of multiple concussions and brain injuries. The two sides are currently finalizing a settlement agreement. In consideration of these findings and events, several players are making the decision to prematurely end their professional football careers.

The Boston Globe is reporting about Chris Borland, who is a linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers. At 24 years old, he announced his decision to leave the NFL after only one season of play. According to the article, his decision is based on concerns about about long lasting brain conditions. The significance of his actions stems from the fact that Borland is a member of the first generation of players to have full disclosure about the dangers of the game. Players are now armed with enough data, studies and personal experiences to make in informed decision about playing the game for an extended amount of time.
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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) incidents are commonly in the news, especially in relation to the game of football. The National Football League, along with the National Collegiate Athletic Association, are both facing multi million-dollar civil lawsuits from current and former players regarding the risks and consequences of TBIs. These concerns translated into precautionary programs for little league athletes who are just starting out in football. A recent Canadian study is focusing on the game of hockey and the risk of TBIs among the youngest players of the sport.

The Vancouver Sun is reporting on a new research paper about brain damage in hockey players with a history of concussions. The study used brain scans to examine adolescent athletes who are otherwise healthy. Researchers reportedly found disturbing changes to the brain, leading to the conclusion that concussions persist longer than previously believed.
Pediatric psychiatrist James Hudziak, the paper’s co-author, is quoted in the article as stating, “We believe that injury to a developing brain may be more severe than injury to an adult brain.” As stated in the research paper, experts are well aware of the cognitive disorders and personality changes that can result from multiple concussions. This new study highlights the need for prevention among young hockey players.
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This past weekend marked one of the most important events in all of professional athletes. Across the country, millions of fans watched the Seattle Seahawks and New England patriots battle for the Super bowl championship. As fans sat glued to their televisions, they winced as players collided with one another in a gladiator like fashion. There were a few injuries to witness, including a somewhat graphic incident that kept a Seahawk out of the game. But one particular collision left viewers and the media questioning the League’s concussion policies and game protocol.

The Bleacher Report is reporting about a concussion scare that involved New England Patriot Julian Edelman. The incident occurred in the fourth quarter of the game, when Edelman was the subject of a jolting block by Seattle’s Kam Chancellor. Following the hit, viewers watched as Edleman seemingly staggering around the field as he continued in the game. As stated in the article, several of his team members also noticed his unsteadiness and later made statements to the press in regards to it. In addition, social media exploded with tweets questioning his well being.
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Brain injuries are serious conditions, spanning from mild concussions to debilitating brain damage. Their recent prevalence in the media has called attention to the dangers of brain injury and the risk that is inherently involved in sports like football and boxing. The National Football is dealing with a major brain injury related lawsuit, as is the National Collegiate Athletic Association. But recent reports are highlighting the serious reality that brain injuries are not limited to males.

According to a report by NBC News, young women may be more likely to suffer from brain injuries than their male counterparts. Of the millions of concussions reported each year, at least a third of them are experienced by females. This is causing researchers to take a serious look into the dangers of female-dominated sports. Female soccer players reportedly have a 68 percent higher chance of developing a concussion than male soccer players. Among all sports played by both genders, females develop concussions twice as often.
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The prevalence of news articles about traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) exemplify the magnitude and seriousness of the problem across a wide range of activities and industries. The National Football League is attempting to settle a multi-million dollar lawsuit instituted by former and present players and their families. The National Collegiate Athletic Association is also in the midst of controversy regarding the alleged mishandling of concussions and TBIs among virtually all collegiate sports. The federal government even has a lot at stake as military personnel face extreme TBI risks during battle. But all of these concerning TBI issues are leading to some positive results.

The Huffington Post is reporting that extensive news coverage is leading to increased medical research on this serious problem. According to the article, media and information giant Thomson Reuters conducted a study about the frequency and volume of TBI research and scientific reporting. The organization reportedly considered thousands of books, scholarly magazines and conferences in searching for TBI topics. The initial study results produced more than 31,000 informational pieces. From there, the researchers identified the most scholarly and medically sound works and concluded that TBI research studies quadrupled over the last 13 years from approximately 1,000 in 2001 to almost 4,000 thus far in 2014.
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A recent study by Harvard University reports that colleges are significantly inconsistent in their handling of athletic concussions. These findings come in the midst of concerns about coaches sending obviously injured athletes back onto the football field. They also raise questions about the effectiveness of implemented head trauma plans.

According to an article in The Republic, researchers reviewed responses from about 900 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) member schools. The results showed that roughly 20% of them are operating without a standardized and consistent concussion management plan.
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A legend of the National Football League (NFL) recently announced his support for a new brain injury research facility that will bear his name. Several news outlets are reporting that Joe Namath, who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1985, is lending his name to a Florida treatment center for brain injury research. He is quoted as saying, “My suffering has come from losing some friends, has come from watching some guys deteriorate over the years, guys that have had traumatic brain injuries, teammates of mine.”

Namath played football for much of his adult life, first as a quarterback at the University of Alabama. He was drafted to the New York Jets in 1965, earning a record breaking salary for the time. Namath played in the inaugural game of Monday Night Football and worked his way to one Super Bowl win before retiring from the game in 1978. Since that time, he’s been able to successfully stretch his talents in a number of directions, as an actor and a business owner. In January, he publicly spoke to the press about his problems with brain injury and the effects of football on the body.
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The new professional football season is here, with new games, new players and new problems. However, one old problem continues to plague the controversial National Football League (NFL). According to recent reports, the widow of a former player is suing the league, along with several other defendants, for its alleged failure to adequately protect players from traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

The plaintiff’s husband spent about five years in the league, playing for the New Orleans Saints, as well as the San Diego Chargers. In 2013, he took his own life with a gunshot wound to his head, while in the presence of his wife and his children. At the time of his death, court documents allege that he suffered from the consequences of numerous head traumas and concussions. However, it was not until the autopsy that doctors formerly diagnosed him with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and other brain injuries.
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