Youth Sports Can Be Hotbeds for Brain Injuries Like Concussions

Synopsis

  • In recent years, researchers have linked athlete concussion and brain injury
    rates to the prevalence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a neurodegenerative
    disease found in people who have had multiple head injuries.
  • Most severe CTE is found in former professional players but high school
    athletes have also been identified as a potential risk group.
  • New findings now say contact sports played by children of school age, such
    as football, boxing, competitive BMX riding, wrestling, rugby, basketball
    and baseball, can also affect mood, behavior and cognition from sustained
    brain injuries that could lead to undiagnosed CTE.
  • Parents and coaches should be working to establish prevention measures
    for athletes to avoid these head and brain injuries and know how to recognize
    the warning signs and symptoms associated.

Summer Sports Activities Can Put Young Athletes at Risk for Serious Head Injury

In early 2017, researchers at the Journal of the American Medical Association
found that the brains of former NFL players, as well as those of college
and high school football athletes, showed evidence of a disease called
chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, suggesting it may be related
to prior participation in the sport. Scientists concluded that repeated
blows to the head increase risks for developing CTE, leading to progressive
loss of normal brain matter and an abnormal buildup of protein and troubling
symptoms. The study findings also revealed that the most severe disease
was found in former professional players and mild CTE disease can be found
in former high school players.

Can Athletic Injuries Lead to CTE?

Most commonly reported in association with CTE is concussion and other
serious injuries related to hard tackling head blows true to the nature
of American football, but more science is being understood of child athletes
who participated in boxing, wrestling, rugby, basketball and baseball,
and even BMX riding and show these other former athletes may also be at
risk. Being able to 1) establish prevention measures to avoid these injuries
and 2) recognize the awareness of the warning signs associated with head
injuries are good steps towards reversing the disease for future generations.
If not addressed, concussions and other serious head injuries can lead
to traumatic brain injury issues or even CTE, creating difficulties down the road.

Indiana University provides this list of concussion and head injury symptoms to guide you:

  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Fuzzy or Blurry vision
  • Nausea or vomiting (early on)
  • Sensitivity to noise or light
  • Feeling sluggish, tired, or groggy
  • Feeling unusually irritable
  • Sleeping more or less than usual
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • More emotional
  • Nervousness or anxiety
  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty remembering new information

If your child exhibits even one of these symptoms, a concussion or head
injury should be suspected, and the student athlete should be removed
from any play even practice, the athlete’s parents should be notified,
the athlete should not return for a minimum of 24 hours and not before
being evaluated by a licensed health care provider who sends written clearance
to participate.

Help in Protecting Your Student Athlete from Brain Injury and Future Disease

The
traumatic brain injury attorneys at Wagner Reese can assist your child in recovering the compensation deserved,
especially if your child’s brain injury could have been prevented,
was improperly diagnosed, or ignored by your student’s school or
athletic team officials. Help us raise awareness for the seriousness of
these injuries and hold coaches, leagues, schools, and doctors accountable
for properly treating and caring for our children. Give us a call at (888) 204-8440 today or
send us your information and story using our confidential online form.