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Medical Spotlight: Concussions in Professional Football

June 25, 2015
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While almost everyone enjoys the fall weather and the football games that come with it, competing collegiate and professional athletes put themselves and their mental health at risk each week for their team's fans. Recent studies have revealed an increasing number of head injuries in sports and a growing need for concussion examinations. Concussions are traumatic brain injuries that may alter brain functions. Although effects are often temporary and include headaches, problems with concentration, memory, and balance, concussions may also lead to other more serious issues. With suspicion that many football players suffered the effects of chronic traumatic brain injury (TBI), Amen Clinics conducted the world’s largest brain imaging and rehabilitation study from 2009-2012. The results of the study were undeniable. A high percentage of active and retired professional players had evidence of TBI patterns on their SPECT scans and showed symptoms of brain trauma. These symptoms can increase the likelihood of depression, dementia, obesity, and ADD in these players. People may not realize that the brain is incredibly soft. Dr. Daniel Amen compares the texture and feel of the brain to toothpaste and adds that it is housed in the skull and surrounded by sharp and boney ridges. Even without immediate recognition of an injury to the brain, damage may have already occurred. However, this does not mean this damage is permanent. He and other doctors honor The Amen Clinics Method, a multidisciplinary approach to mental and physical health. Check out how you can be sure that your brain is in top shape!
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