I watched a fascinating news program last night which featured the progressive brain degeneration of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). The brain degeneration is associated with memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, impulse control problems, aggression, depression, and, eventually, progressive dementia. See this website for more information: http://www.bu.edu/cste/about/what-is-cte/
The link between boxing and CTE was found almost a century ago, so why should CTE be of interest to injury prevention today? Because a clear link has been found between CTE and the multiple concussions received during contact sports such as football and grid iron. These are sports which are played by millions of children and adolescents around the world, and they may be particularly vulnerable as their brains are still developing. In addition, thousands of athletes each year support their families through playing these sports, and they are paying a huge price when they should be enjoying their children and, if they are lucky, their grandchildren. Parents and players alike need to be aware of the long-term implications of multiple concussions, and then they can make informed decisions about the levels of risk they are willing to take.
The brain has been likened to a blob of jelly sitting in a bony bowl, and it is simply not designed to cope with repeated blows. The impact of multiple concussions has not only been in the Australian spotlight, it remains of interest in the US, where the impact of concussions is featured in the documentary ‘Head Games’ ( http://headgamesthefilm.com/)
Whilst ordinarily I am loathe to recommend watching commercial television, I found Peter FitzSimons story to be well-researched and well-presented. Watch “The Price of Playing the Game” here: http://au.news.yahoo.com/sunday-night/video/watch/c299b651-1129-3986-a9a4-1e146547279a/the-price-of-playing-the-game/