The blog Broken Brain – Brilliant Mind has been one of the blogs I continually go to for guidance on the concussion issue. Although the author is focused on Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) it is a semantic “thing”, they [concussion and TBI] are relatively interchangeable. His/her perspective on this issue from a survivor is great to read and like wise thought-provoking for everyone, including yours truly. In a recent post, “Then What?“, it is just that…
What I wonder about especially, these days, is the impact that all this attention is having on student athletes and other athletes who sustain concussions. We see the truly sobering stories of CTE and dementia and behavior problems… broken marriages, criminality, homelessness, drug abuse, suicide… in football as well as professional wrestling. And we see the scientific evidence that although a brain may look normal on the outside, the inside can be riddled with proteins and damage that only show up through specialized testing.
And it makes me wonder what we’re going to do with this information. Are we going to all get spooked and flee the playing field, as though it were a dead-end trap? Are we going to forbid kids from playing the types of games they’ve played for generations? Are kids going to become so spooked themselves, that when they do hit their heads, they descend a dark spiral down into depression and thinking “Well, it’s all over now. I’m brain damaged and I’m going to end up like Mike Webster.”
BB (as he/she would like to be identified by) later goes on to write about; is the concern over the injury 100% accurate and correct when we can be looking for a solution. BB reaffirms my stance on this issue; the injury is going to happen it’s how we manage it that is the real issue.
I often wonder if the intense focus on the dangers of concussion is 100% helpful. For me, the whole point of focusing on a problem, is to come up with a solution. But no solutions other than changes in rules, stronger enforcement, and benching injured players till they’re asymptomatic, have seemed to surface. Nobody — except the University At Buffalo’s Concussion Clinic — has apparently come up with an actual response to post-concussive symptoms. Yet despite their groundbreaking findings and ongoing work in this area, they’re getting hardly any press.
Erasing the stigma of concussions and TBI is a multidimensional approach that we are now just getting the slightest grasp on. While this blog has the agenda to help out in any matter possible, including examining the “Then What?”. I encourage to regularly visit BB’s site to see the well-written insight they provide.