Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Study

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The study of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) has a very short history. In the following paragraphs, I will show the impacts of the history of studying concussions and CTE in football, as well as the impacts that CTE brings to player’s health. As well as the study of concussions, I will discuss the impacts of concussions on the game of football and the rule changes and equipment changes the National Football League has had to make to improve the safety of the game for the players. Another focus of the NFL I will discuss is the role of improving knowledge of concussions not only professionally, but also in youth and high school level sports to protect younger players. Concussion reporting and research on Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy…show more content…
At this early time, Pellman stated, “We think issues of knees, of drugs, steroids and drinking are a far greater problem than concussions” (Ezell, 2013). The first real claims that concussions caused brain damage occurred in the late 1990’s when the American Academy of Neurology stated that repeat concussions could lead to brain damage and said that players should be removed from the field of play if signs of a concussion were shown 15 minutes after an injury (Ezell, 2013). Mike Weber, a former NFL player for the Pittsburgh Steelers, claimed in 1999 that he had head injuries that were causing him dementia and left him permanently disabled (Ezell, 2013). This started a major controversy. In 2002, Dr. Bennet Omalu examined Weber’s brain after he died, and found the first case of CTE in and NFL player (Ezell, 2013). CTE was also found in 36-year-old Justin Strelczyk after he passed away in a car crash. Dr. Pellman and the MTBI committee created by the NFL responded by stating that brain injuries were uncommon and minor after four years of study (Ezell, 2013). The NFL MTBI committee continued to deny these reports by publishing a paper…show more content…
The NFL does this using the Heads-Up program which was made to further educate coaches and youth programs about injury and health awareness (League, 2017). Equipment in the NFL has also improved to try and reduce the amount of concussions in the NFL. The helmets the NFL now uses has progressed from leather helmets with only one bar on them to helmets now that are designed and tested by engineering experts (League, 2017). Helmets now have a polycarbonate shell with advanced suspension and cushioning systems to protect the heads of players and absorb most of the hits (League, 2017). Lastly, the NFL has developed the Neck and Spine Committee to make protocols to diagnose and manage concussions (McCrea et al., 2003). The committee has placed equipment on the sidelines of every game to recognize concussions in real time immediately. At every game, there is now an independent athletic trainer in the box that spends the whole game observing players on the field to spot possible concussion like symptoms (McCrea et al., 2003). The trainer can stop the game at any time and remove that player from the field of play. If an injury or concussion occurs, players now must go through an extensive concussion protocol and meet established criteria to return to the field (McCrea et al.,

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