In a study on concussed athletes the ones who continued to play had worse scores on both mental function tests performed eight days after the concussion and 30 days after the concussion. Medical records showed mental function had been similar in all players before their concussions (Tanner 2). In April of 2016, A study presented at an American Academy of Neurology meeting revealed that “more than 40 percent of retired National Football League players had signs of traumatic brain injury based on sensitive MRI scans called diffusion tensor imaging ("Concussions in Sports"). A study published in the journal Neurology tracked 3,439 retired players with at least 5 seasons in the NFL found that those players are four times as likely as other men their age to die of Alzheimer 's disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease) ("Concussions in Sports"). Return-to-play policies are widespread, especially in youth athletics, and they usually recommend sidelining players after a suspected concussion until symptoms resolve.
This disease lasts a lifetime and usually gets worse with time. According to thoracic.org, “Cystic fibrosis affects at least 30,000 people in the United States; between 900 and 1,000 new cases are diagnosed every year. One in 29 people of Caucasian ancestry is an unaffected carrier of the CF gene mutation.” Although Cystic fibrosis is more commonly found in white people, there is no scientific evidence or answer on why so many Caucasian people have this disease. According to Ms. Judy Monroe, “…tissue in the pancreas becomes scarred and damaged. Healthy tissue also is replaced by cysts, or small holes filled with fluids.” CF affects the transport of salt and water across cells.
In 2003, after Webster passed away, Dr. Bennet Omalu did an examination of his brain. In this examination, Dr. Omalu found a chronic disease that he believed to be caused by playing in the NFL (Kirk). As stated in the film by Steve Fainaru, “And that decision would change the NFL, because if Webster’s brain had not been examined, I don’t honestly think that we would be where we are at today” (Kirk). Without this examination the investigation would not have occurred, and therefore, the muckraking would not have occurred.
Brian Pickens Dr.Willams English 12 1 May 2016 Problem Statement The Research shows that concussions has required numerous players to retire early. The investigation indicates that countless NFL players that have died have had concussions or brain disease contribute to their death. “A total of 87 out of 91 former NFL players have tested positive for the brain disease at the center of the debate over concussions in football, according to new figures from the nation’s largest brain bank focused on the study of traumatic head injury. BRESLOW, JASON M. "FRONTLINE."
Koppelman, a writer at Harvard is arguing that with many athletes playing contact sports there is no widespread epidemic of brain traumas (Koppelman). But NBC found that 2,500 concussions had occurred in grade school sports in North Texas alone (House). Also concussions just aren’t in football they have also been linked to basketball, wrestling, and soccer (House). Recently researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have been looking at how concussions affect brains that are still developing. They’ll follow several hundred people who’ve suffered head injuries (House).
The NFL has stated that they believe the issues having to do with the knees, drugs, and steroids are greater problems in football, according to the number of incidents, than concussions. In several attempts to talk to the NFL about the effects of CTE found in football players, the discussion has been dismissed. In 2013, the NFL agreed to pay $765 million to settle the lawsuit with retired players. As part of this settlement, the league did not admit any wrongdoing. There was no admission that anything was caused by football.
Since American football star Michael Webster’s death, Nigerian-American physician, Bennet Omalu performed an autopsy that surprisingly showed his cause of death was from sever damage of the frontal lobe of Webster’s brain. What happened to Webster’s brain is now called chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE, which is a degenerative disease. This “sickness” is due to the repeated impact of football related concussions. Since the discovery the NFL and all the players have taken serious repercussions in the attempt of lowering the amount of potential concussions. The sport of football might appear dangerous but now the safety measures have been and are still improving.
One major problem that many doctors have recognized is that concussions not only affect players while they are playing the game of football but their lives long after their career ends. Articles written by (Nancy Didehbani) and (Marshall Kerr) discussions how player’s brains functions long after their careers end. Some of the issues they found with concussions are Short and long term memory loss, prescription drug abuse and depression and in some of the worst cases, suicide (Kerr). Studies of the brain after a NFL athlete’s careers show strong correlations linked to concussions. Which raises the question should the NFL require players who are diagnosed with concussions during their playing careers receive therapy and treatment in order to
Some would argue that playing football is dangerous and that teams don’t have enough medical training to address concussions. The risk of concussions are 3x greater when playing football than any other high school sport. Another shocking statistic is that high school students across the nation suffer about 2 million injuries every year, about 500,000 doctor visits, and about 300,000 hospital visits a year, all caused from football! Some children even suffer severe head injuries. “Each year U.S. emergency departments treat an estimated 135,000 children ages 5 to 18 for sports-related brain injuries” writes Dr. Alexander K. Powers, Neurosurgeon.
Some say the size of players has become somewhat concerning. An investigation by the Associated Press studied the weight gain of over 4,700 Division 1 football players. This studied showed that many players had put on over twenty pounds in one year. In about 100 of those cases, players added up to eighty pounds over first year of collegiate ball (Gillum). While some players may gain small amounts of fat, many put on lean muscle in that time span (Apuzzo).
The same article states that “scientists examined test scores of 42 former NFL players, with an average age of 52, all of whom had experienced memory and thinking problems for at least six months. Half the players had played tackle football before age 12, and half had not. Significantly, the total number of concussions was similar between the two groups. Researchers found that the players exposed to tackle football before age 12 had greater impairment in mental flexibility, memory, and intelligence—a 20 percent difference in some cases. These findings held up even after statistically removing the effects of the total number of years the participants played football.” It is proven that playing football before the age of twelve impacts the brain, at that age the brain is just developing and is in a fragile state.
He later recalled that he had “a good many bloody struggles with the mosquitoes.” Before Abraham joined the army, his friends tried to talk him into becoming a candidate for the state legislature. Encouraged by their faith, he announced his candidacy in March, 1832. He came home from the Black Hawk war only 2 weeks before the election. He was defeated with 277 out of 300 for votes. He thought of studying law, but thought he couldn 't succeed without a better education.
In the same token the article by Boston University that it ranked highly ranked in the medicine division also familiar with brain damage stated, “Nine-year NFL veteran, former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Tom McHale was suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease caused by head trauma, when he died in 2008 at the age of 45.” (Boston University, 1). McHale was the sixth case of known CTE on football players at the time, and CTE shows a similar symptoms to Alzheimer’s disease. Kids are put in danger every time they step on a football field to play. Is it reasonable to be a parent and just brush off the fact that every time they step on the field may be the last time that their child will remember everything due to the fact that they may develop CTE? Protect the future leaders from concussions, they deserve a better future.
Suicide makes up 1.4% of all deaths worldwide. Although 1.4% is a small percentage, this 1.4% consists of about 800,000 people per year. The suicide rates decreased 1990-2000 from 12.5 suicides per 100,000 to 10.4 per 100,000. Over the past decade, the rate has increased to 12.1 per 100,000. Every day, approximately 105 Americans die by suicide.