Taylor Twellman Story (9/21/2010)

Originally posted on The Concussion Blog in September of 2010.  I would be interested to see Taylor talk about this in a reflecting manner and see if anything has changed with him and his thoughts on concussions in the sport he loves.

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Just ask Taylor Twellman, a soccer player from the New England Revolution how unpredictable they are.  In 2008 near the top of his game and the American leagues he ran full speed into the goal keeper, creating a whiplash effect on his body, most namely the skull.

To this day Twellman has not had a single day without some post-concussive effects.  He was only just recently, June, released to begin light activities.  Granted this is a professional athlete that has a career to think about, his health remains his number one priority.

Monique Walker of Boston.com ran a story about him and his not so quick recovery from concussion.

For our adolescent population this can be even more devastating, a delay in recovery could mean a decline in grades, an emotional disconnect from teammates, and a social decline in school.  All while the brain and personality are still developing.

If you get your “bell-rung” make sure you communicate that with someone who can help.

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Sunday Slants

For your early reading on a Sunday here are a couple of stories; like the slant route quick hitting but you have the opportunity to go further if you wish.

Misleading Headline

Chargers’ Dielman out for two games after concussion, seizure“…  To put a definite number on return to play is WRONG for all brain injuries; although the article hints at a longer out period the headline is poor at best.  And guess what it was published by the NFL.

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Misleading Nomenclature

There was another concussion in NCAA hoop as UConn player Andre Drummond broke his nose and was diagnosed with a concussion, but according to the player it was only “mild”;

“This sucks,” Drummond wrote. “Mild concussion and I broke my nose. Worst day ever.”

There is NO SUCH THING AS A MILD CONCUSSION, period.

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Misleading a Player

Quite possibly one of the worst revelations we have seen in sports an athlete, professional soccer player Taylor Twellman, was intentionally misled into playing; Continue reading

Professional Athlete With Proper Perspective

We all know that head injuries can be sustained anywhere at anytime, obviously concussions occur at a higher rate in sports.  Non “mainstream” sports in America have their share of concussions as well, in fact sports like soccer, rugby and woman’s hockey have an extremely high incidence rate of concussions.  Perhaps some of the professional players in the more “recognized” sports can take a clue from a professional soccer player.

After Tyler Twellman has his career soccer career cut short by reoccurring symptoms of concussions other players are starting to realize there is more to life than soccer.  Take for example Chad Marshall, of the Columbus Crew;

The next head injury Chad Marshall suffers could be the last of the hulking Crew defender’s Major League Soccer career.Marshall is expected to play tonight in an exhibition game against New England after missing time because of concussion-like symptoms following a head injury on Feb. 21. He said the end is possible every time he takes a blow to the head.

“Every time I get hit in the head or kicked in the face, my mind immediately goes there,” said Marshall, who has suffered from concussion-like symptoms following head injuries at least seven times in his playing career. “It would be tough to hear someone say I had to stop. But I’m someone who wants to go on and have a family and be able to play with my children without having to stop and go sit down.”

With soccer, and especially as a defender the chances of sustaining a head injury are pretty good.  Granted there is not “full contact” Continue reading

Futbol Concussions Part II

OK, I am a little late to the party on this one.  However, this underlines another aspect of the concussion issue and why awareness is key for EVERYONE.  Soccer, although worldly popular, is not a “main stream” sport here in the US and the plight of these world-class athletes and their concussions can be overlooked by the masses.  Since Liga BBVA began following The Concussion Blog more and more email in the inbox has been directed to futbol or soccer as we know it, making this a good time to look around.

I found this article by Stefan Bondy on USSoccerPlayers.com;

Despite its obvious penchant for head clashes and flying goalie fists, soccer is often overlooked as a concussion hazard, especially in a country dominated by the other “football.” But given the debilitating nature of the cases in Major League Soccer – albeit a number smaller than in the National Football League – it’s clear there’s an issue that needs to at least be explored, if not corrected.

We have explored the Twellman case, being the most highly publicized of them due to the Boston media coverage and the impetus of Twellman himself to expose and educate others about his issues.  But there are many others and it seems, as Bondy said, more soccer players are being forced out due to concussions than other sports (hockey not with standing).

An interesting tidbit was how MLS was using NP testing prior to the NFL and if Bondy is correct they are using it more diligently than the NFL (per Scott Fujita in Chaney article).  Also standing out to me is the return to play guidelines/protocols or lack there of Continue reading

National Story on Sports Legacy Institute

Pat Graham penned a story for the AP today about the Sports Legacy Institute and its ongoing contribution to the “concussion crisis” we are facing.

Interviewed in the story were various professional sports athletes, as well as Chris Nowinski the Director of the SLI.  The point of the story was to shed light on the fact the 300+ people are dedicating their “brains” to the research of it all.  Not only will these people donate their brains after a long life, they are undergoing annual testing for data collection.

Ideally, Nowinski said the center would like to sign up 50 athletes from each sport. Most of the volunteers are men, but there are women in the registry including soccer player Cindy Parlow and swimmer Jenny Thompson.

Athletes who are enrolled in the registry take a medical history every year, perform cognitive tests and answer an array of questions, such as if they’ve been dealing with bouts of depression. It’s a way to establish a medical baseline, helping researchers watch for signs of CTE, which can eventually lead to dementia.

“We have no idea how much head trauma is necessary to produce (CTE),” said Dr. Robert Cantu, a clinical professor of neurosurgery and co-founder of the institute. “We just know those who play sports and who have higher amounts of head trauma have a higher incident of it. … This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of studying this problem.”

Follow this JUMP to read the entire article.

Concussions Are Unpredictable

Just ask Taylor Twellman, a soccer player from the New England Revolution how unpredictable they are.  In 2008 near the top of his game and the American leagues he ran full speed into the goal keeper, creating a whiplash effect on his body, most namely the skull.

To this day Twellman has not had a single day without some post-concussive effects.  Continue reading