In Concussion, an upcoming dramatized film, a very real story is portrayed following Dr. Bennet Omalu’s battle against the powerful institution that has become ingrained in American society; no, not a government agency, the NFL. What he found, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), was a direct result from concussions. The dizziness from impacts and hits that athletes experienced were dismissed and brushed under the rug, so to speak. It wasn’t until the Nigerian, forensic neuropathologist decided to confront the NFL with his findings that the seriousness of the matter was recognized.
Nowadays, there is more awareness especially with youth involvement in several different sports. There are more and more companies popping up that help athletes and coaches detect concussions using small, wearable devices, like Jolt Sensor, SpeedFlex helmets, and Shockbox Sports Helmet Sensors. A lot of future technology actually lies in wearable tech.
The danger lies in the moment of impact that becomes too much for the cerebral spinal fluid in which the brain floats to act as a shock absorber; that’s just not enough for it to handle “a direct blow to the head or a whiplash effect.” Imagine a truck driver who has to transport something delicate, like a wedding cake; if he makes a quick turn, a sudden stop or collides with another car, the cake is going to get jostled around and could potentially be ruined; the cake is the brain, and we need to take care of it!
Imaging tests, cognitive tests, and postural stability tests are all ways that Doctors evaluate the severity of a hit. The more concussions on record, the more likely another will occur. Dizziness, sensitivity to light and noise, headaches, seeing stars, and fuzziness or gaps in memory are all common symptoms of a concussion. Take some time to review these symptoms of concussions, especially if you are extremely active.