13 Things You Need to Know About Concussions, Brain Damage and Sports
With the Super Bowl only a month and a half away, it’s time we discuss how dangerous football really is and what the effects of concussions are. Here are 13 things you need to know.
1. There are roughly 1.6 to 3.8 million concussions in the U.S. every year from professional and recreational sports.
2. Up to half of concussions go unreported.
3. Concussions reported in the NFL are on the rise, likely because of a reduced stigma in reporting them. Concussions reported per week increased 67 percent from 2009 to 2012.
4. There’s little evidence that current sports helmets for youth reduce the risk of concussions, according to a National Academy of Sciences report published last year.
5. The NFL agreed to pay $765 million to thousands of retired players for damages from concussion-related health problems as part of a 2013 settlement. However, on January 14, a federal judge rejected the settlement because she wasn’t convinced the amount was high enough to cover all of the injured players. By settling with the players, the league won’t have to disclose how early it knew that neurological damage is linked to concussions.
6. NFL revenue in 2012 was $9.5 billion.
7. Repeated head injury is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and its signature beta-amyloid protein brain plaques.
8. When the brain is hit, microtubules that act like train tracks for proteins to shuttle back and forth can get broken, dropping the cargo, which potentially builds up as protein plaques.
9. The white matter that connects different regions of the brain seems especially vulnerable because the faster it’s stretched, the stiffer it gets.
10. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), characterized by a loss of neurons and build-up of tau protein in the brain, is often found in those with a history of head trauma. It’s associated with memory loss, confusion, and depression and can only be diagnosed only after death.
11. Frequent suicides have led some experts to wonder whether underlying mental illness causes CTE or if head injury is causing both brain degeneration and mental illness. In a 2012 study, 34 out of 35 postmortem brain samples from former pro football players showed signs of CTE. Six of the athletes had most likely died of suicide.
12. Last year, brain scans of five living, retired NFL players found excessive tau protein in all of them, particularly in memory and emotion areas.
13. Football might not even be the worst offender. It has 0.2 concussions per 1,000 player-hours, compared to 0.4 for FIFA soccer, 1.5 for the NHL, and 13.2 for boxing.
Sourced from Popular Science.
Dubai's new smart neuro spinal hospital: need to know
We take a look at Dubai's new smart hospital.
What: The Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre is a new hospital featuring state-of-the-art technology for spinal, neurosurgical, neurological, orthopaedic, radiosurgery and cancer treatments. The 700 million AED hospital, (equivalent to £138 million), has 114 beds, smart patient rooms, and green spaces for patient rehabilitation, and is four times the capacity of its former premises in Jumeirah. It is also the UAE’s first hospital to have surgical robots.
Where: The hospital is located in the Dubai Science Park. Founded in 2005, Dubai Science Park is home to more than 350 companies from multinational corporations in life sciences, biotechnology and research; over 4,000 people work here each day.
Who: The UAE's Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre was first established in Jumeirah in 2002 by Dr. Abdul Karim Msaddi, as the first as the first "super-specialty" neuroscience hospital.
Why: With advanced diagnosis and robotics, the hospital will provide care across neuroscience, spine, orthopaedics and oncology for people residing in the UAE, as well as international patients.
Prof. Abdul Karim Msaddi, Chairman and Medical Director of the hospital, said: “We are proud to bring world-class healthcare services to Dubai and believe our next-generation hospital will be a game-changer for the emirate’s and the region’s medical industry.
"It will not only significantly increase the availability of specialist neuroscience and radiosurgery treatments and provide better patient care but help attract and develop local and international talent. Investing in the new centre represents our continued faith in the resilience of the region’s economy, as well as a testament to our ongoing drive towards healthcare innovation in the UAE.”