Last week we talked about some recent changes the National Collegiate Athletic Association made to its rules for college football. These changes have already decreased the number of concussions sustained by collegiate players but, like any contact sport, football still carries its share of risks.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) usually occurs when a person receives a jolt or blow to the head that disrupts his or her normal brain functioning. These injuries are also commonly referred to as concussions, a fairly common occurrence in sports like football. But even if players frequently shrug them off and get back in the game, brain injuries should not be ignored as a public health problem.
About 1.7 million TBIs occur each year as a result of injury. The severity of these injuries can range from a slight, brief change in brain function to lasting amnesia or even death. Common symptoms include headaches, nausea or vomiting, memory loss, confusion, dizziness or sluggishness.