Concussion controversy: Traumatic brain injury gets more attention after NFL player incident
In a nation as crazy as the United States, the details of what led up to the recent NFL concussion scandal haven’t hit the headlines as thoroughly as they should have.
The initial report regarding concussions in the NFL came out in mid-November, with the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills the latest two teams implicated.
Here in Alabama, the details have been a little more detailed, but they all seem to point back to the same culprit and result in concussions. The details are more focused on the concussion rates in the NFL and what caused the problem.
What are the leading causes of concussion in the NFL?
Concussions are responsible for 16 percent of all football-related injuries, according to a study by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. The number is likely higher, though. The N.A.T.A. notes that the studies’ methods were inadequate to measure all concussions, and many studies rely on “self-reporting” in which a researcher estimates a player’s symptoms by interviewing them.
But the numbers are close to what we know today, according to Dr. Gary Taubes. Taubes is a neurologist and director of the Sports Health Lab at University Hospitals who has been a leading voice on brain trauma in the NFL.
“The numbers are well established,” Taubes says. “Some of the newer studies suggest that there are more concussions than reported. They look at the numbers to see if they’re consistent across studies. And that’s a difficult problem to investigate because none of these studies are done by the same independent scientific investigators.”
Concussions come in two main categories:
Fluids that flow into the brain through the skull. This is what many concussions look like. A player shakes his head or slaps the ball while attempting to move. It’s an involuntary motion. This type of brain injury, usually caused