Episode 12: Concussed

Click here for the transcript of this week’s episode: Concussed. Note: Conversational pieces of transcripts may deviate slightly from the spoken podcast, but all facts and science are preserved. 

This week, we venture into the medical realm to discuss concussions, or mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI). We explore the causes and effects of concussions, both in the biological and cognitive realms. A concussion is a serious injury, and we talk about exactly why it is so dangerous to return to the sports field right after a concussion. We explore the different equipment out there to protect our heads, including football helmets and soccer headgear, and how effective such equipment actually is at preventing concussion. Due to recent media coverage, we also talk about the NFL and why repeated head traumas from years of play can lead to catastrophic results.

Further reading for this episode includes:

  • If you were interested to learn more about the NFL and subsequent legal disputes involving CTE, check out this news article from CNN. It details a new case against the NFL filed this year, and also goes on to explain other issues surrounding the NFL and brain damage.
  • For more information about concussion symptoms and how to diagnose a concussion, please visit this topic overview from WebMD. Though it does list symptoms, make sure to get a medical professional’s advice if you do think that you or someone you know has suffered a concussion.
  • Though research is in its infancy regarding the long-term effects of a single concussion, the NY Times released this disturbing article about the correlation between adolescent concussions and adult medical disability qualifications. The study does not suggest that all teens who get concussions will become medically disabled, of course, but the study does give early proof that contact sports may be more dangerous in the long-term than we might think.

The sources for this episode are as follows:

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Severe Traumatic Brain Injury

Molecular Pathophysiology of Concussive Brain Injury (Research Paper)

American Academy of Pediatrics Clinical Report on Concussions in Children and Adolescents

The Neurometabolic Cascade of Concussion (Research Paper)

Prolonged Recovery of Speed-Related Tasks in Adolescent Concussions (Research Paper)

Concussion Effects on Attention And Cognitive Flexibility in Adolescents (Research Paper)

Children and Brain Injury

Number of High School Athletes in US

Age and Its Role in Concussion Impact (Research Paper)

Concussion and the Adolescent Athlete (Research Paper)

Neuropsychological and Neurophysiological Assessment of Sports Concussion in Children, Adolescents, and Adults (Research Paper)

The Limits of Football Helmets

Does Soccer Headgear Work?

The Efficacy of Soccer Headgear (Research Paper)

Protecting Soccer Players from Concussions

Brain Structure and Function in College Athletes with Concussion History (Research Paper)

What is CTE?

On CTE and Athletes

Concussion Recovery

Recovering from a Concussion



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