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Tag Archives: Heads Up Football

Football concussions: Amid the fear, UGA research brings some hope

While most concussion research focuses on college and professional players or young children, a team of neuroscientists at the University of Georgia is tackling an often overlooked cohort of athletes.

The average Joes are middle-aged men who played football, but not in any kind of national spotlight. They suffered concussions during their glory days on the high school gridiron.

Each participant underwent an fMRI scan, which measures brain activity by detecting changes in blood flow within the brain. An image of the brain appears on the computer screen, and as the volunteer performs various mental tasks, different regions light up to different degrees, representing activity in those areas.

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Virginia Tech participates in NCAA initiative to limit concussions among college athletes, military personnel

Virginia Tech is participating in a new, landmark $30 million national effort sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the U.S. Department of Defense to combat concussions among college athletes and active service military personnel.

The NCAA-U.S. Department of Defense initiative funds the most comprehensive study of concussion and head impact exposure ever conducted. It will enroll an estimated 25,000 male and female NCAA student-athletes during a three-year study period. Virginia Tech will focus on athletes participating in various sports, including football, women’s soccer, men’s soccer, and women’s lacrosse.

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Concussion Risks Haven’t Slowed Down High School Football

Despite overwhelming evidence of the sport’s dangers, high school football participation is down just 2% since 2008. Since the kids won’t kick the sport, legislators and state athletic associations are trying to make it safer.

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Heading off danger: Concussions and teens

It’s a hot July afternoon, just before a thunderstorm. The Bonnette family is in the living room next to a fan, discussing schedules. 17-year-old Giuliana Bonnette plays the right side position for the varsity volleyball team at Dominion High School in Sterling. She is now recovered from two concussions she suffered in the spring.

“It started out as just a really bad headache, and a little bit of confusion,” Bonnette said.

These were Giuliana Bonnette’s symptoms after her first concussion 6 months ago. Her head slammed against the ground during volleyball tryouts. It was first diagnosed as whiplash.

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Concussions in football harder than ever to ignore

The days of jarring hits in football being brushed off as “dings” or “cleaning out the cobwebs” are long gone.

With growing concerns over sports-related concussions, prep football players, coaches and parents are urged to take every high-impact collision seriously.

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Can helmets protect your kids from concussions like companies claim?

From Pop Warner to the pros, football players will soon strap on their helmets for another hard-hitting season on the gridiron. Those hard hits can be dangerous, even deadly. Helmet companies claim new products can protect your kids from concussions, but do they really work?

The big helmet-to-helmet hits send football fans to their feet. The problem is that the hits also send players to the hospital. The concussion discussion dominates safety speak at every level.

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School Sports: Five Myths About Concussions

Although most people have a general idea of what concussions are, there are still some myths surrounding the injury. 

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Concussions From Football Practices — Not Just Games — Are Big Part Of Problem

 A lineman who plays in high school, college and the pros may retire with 10,0000 sub-concussive hits, none of which were diagnosed, none of which he is aware of. The aggregate of these hits produce brain damage much more severe than being knocked out three times.

Prominent neurologists and researchers like Robert Cantu, Julian Bailes, Kevin Guskiewicz, Kristen Willeumier and David Hovda report that three or more concussions may lead to exponentially higher rates of Alzheimer’s, ALS, dementia, chronic traumatic encephalopathy and depression. This is different from other injuries. Brain function provides memory, judgment, and personality — what it means to be a sentient human being. That is why we are forming a new foundation, “Athletes Speak,” with players advocating awareness and prevention.

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NOCSAE warns football helmet rating system cannot predict ability to prevent concussions

The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) applauds and encourages the growing research in the area of concussion protection for athletes, including the work released this month by Virginia Tech. Coaches, consumers and parents should be aware that while the STAR rating system suggests the purchase of specific football helmets, scientific evidence does not support the claim that a particular helmet brand or model is more effective in reducing the occurrence of concussive events.

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Concussions in Youth Sports Being Studied by the US Government

Brain injuries in youth sports have been on the rise in recent years, alarming many parents about the lifelong effects of concussions. The number of brain injuries linked to American youth increased 62 percent between the years of 2001 and 2009, with reported incidents around 250,000 in 2009 (Obama, NFL, NCAA Get Behind Research into Concussions in Youth Sports: Insurance Journal, May 29, 2014).

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