Sport: Football's Concussion Crisis Tells Us As Much About The Dangers Of Sport As It Does About The Society We Live In - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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Sport Football's Concussion Crisis Tells Us As Much About The Dangers Of Sport As It Does About The Society We Live In

06:30  23 october  2019
06:30  23 october  2019 Source:   huffingtonpost.co.uk

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The concussion crisis in football is getting harder and harder to ignore. The sport is trying to change the rules to protect players, but danger could be

Football is facing a major crisis — and not because some NFL players keep taking a knee during the National Anthem. It ’ s because a growing body of From more protective helmets to compounds that preliminary research suggests may help protect the brain, researchers are looking for ways to make

Tottenham Hotspur's Jan Vertonghen picks up a injury during UEFA Championship League Semi- Final 1st Leg between Tottenham Hotspur and Ajax at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium , London, UK on 30 Apr 2019 © Getty Images Tottenham Hotspur's Jan Vertonghen picks up a injury during UEFA Championship League Semi- Final 1st Leg between Tottenham Hotspur and Ajax at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium , London, UK on 30 Apr 2019

Recent findings that professional footballers are three and a half times more likely to die of dementia are certainly serious but they should not surprise us. 

Contrary to much of the coverage, the research by the University of Glasgow is not the first to find a link between football and neurocognitive degenerative conditions. Previously, a Norwegian study found that CT scans showed evidence of brain damage among former international footballers, and research identified a heightened prevalence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or motor neurone disease among Italian professional players.

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But worries about concussions are just part of the reason why some families are having second thoughts about As we 've learned more and more about the dangers of concussions and head injuries in football She urged her sons' league to adopt the Heads Up Football program, and it did .

The brain doctor who inspired a Hollywood movie in the United States has urged football to respond to its dementia crisis by introducing an immediate ban on heading for children below the age of 18. Bennet Omalu, the neuropathologist who discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in

These findings should also not surprise us because all professional sports – and football in particular – provide incredibly dangerous workplaces. One study suggests that professional footballers experience 500 times more injuries than those in the second most dangerous UK occupation. Equally, we also know that knee osteoarthritis is two to three times more common in ex-footballers than in males more broadly.

Jan Vertonghen (R) and Toby Alderweireld (C) lay on the pitch injured after they both clashed with Ajax's Cameroonian goalkeeper Andre Onana (unseen) during the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Ajax. © Getty Images Jan Vertonghen (R) and Toby Alderweireld (C) lay on the pitch injured after they both clashed with Ajax's Cameroonian goalkeeper Andre Onana (unseen) during the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Ajax.

The response to findings such as these must be measured, or it will only serve to perpetuate sport’s concussion crisis and make it more difficult to resolve.

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Worries about the future of youth football are mounting as evidence of long-term cognitive dangers of playing the game grows. For years, the sport ’ s top officials have played down the science and insisted that tackle football could be played safely. Neurologists have found a degenerative brain disease

But in the middle of the discussion of dangers , many undervalue the meaning of the game to young athletes, whose lives and social circles often revolve around their sports . “If someone plays a sport enough, it ’ s because they’re drawn to it through abilities,” Kutcher tells Yahoo Health.

These latest findings are however based on the most robust evidence to date. They correlate with findings from New Zealand about the link between rugby union and post-retirement “neurocognitive deficits”, and they need to be understood in the context of findings about the prevalence of CTE among former professional athletes in North America. They are important.

The concussion crisis often leads evidence to be extrapolated to public health. Should heading be banned? Heading is how most football concussions occur, and there is an intuitive link between concussion and/or the sub-concussive trauma of heading and later neurocognitive developments. Against this, the causal link isn’t established and the only evidence we have relates to a distinct, and distinctly high risk, occupational group. Given that around two-thirds of those diagnosed with dementia are elderly females, the idea that heading footballs represents a major public health risk seems far-fetched.

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But wearing the right protective gear and playing the right way can make a brain injury less likely. If you do get a concussion , take a break from sports . Lots of schools or sports leagues test players at the start of a sports season to measure their normal brain function. These tests are called baseline

So is sport getting more dangerous? Statistics tell us very little. Up until now, there has been no Sport is a way of putting danger into lives in a controlled way. Dr Mike Loosemore, English Institute As a result, concussion in rugby is now being taken seriously, but the risks are still there because of

Laurent Koscielny of Arsenal attends to injured Totenham goalkeeper Hugi Lloris during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at White Hart Lane on March 16, 2014 in London, England. © Getty Images Laurent Koscielny of Arsenal attends to injured Totenham goalkeeper Hugi Lloris during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at White Hart Lane on March 16, 2014 in London, England.

But equally unconvincing is the common response that the health benefits of sport outweigh the potential harms. Of course the FA want to emphasise the Glasgow findings that professional footballers live on average three years longer, but the claim that playing football is a fundamentally healthy pastime is again difficult to sustain. Sports injuries are under-researched and as a society we under-estimate their economic and social impact. Keep playing football, but do it because you enjoy it, not because it’s particularly healthy. 

A third common feature of concussion research is the subsequent call to further regulate children’s lifestyles. (We see this in relation to obesity and physical activity as well as concussion). As a society, we generally feel that adults should have the freedom to do what they want as long as they don’t harm others; hence we can smoke tobacco but not in confined public spaces. Concussion campaigners target the behaviour of children not because they are the most relevant target, but because they are the softest. Changing how often children can practice heading is not the logical policy outcome of the Glasgow findings, restructuring professional football may be. Paradoxically that’s not even up for discussion.

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The first concussion crisis . Harrison documents that history in a fascinating article she wrote last year for the American Journal of Public Health. Maybe we could fund costly advertising to influence would be football players to never start playing, just as we do to prevent folks from starting to smoke tobacco.

Back in the 1900s, football survived a similar existential crisis . Players were being crushed and were dying from head trauma. On the East Coast, Columbia While football ’ s most iconic piece of protective gear might actually be to blame for increasing the incidence of concussions , as it converts

Medical staff attend to Hugo Lloris of Tottenham Hotspur after an injury leading to the opening goal for Brighton and Hove Albion during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Tottenham Hotspur at American Express Community Stadium on October 05, 2019 in Brighton, United Kingdom. © Getty Images Medical staff attend to Hugo Lloris of Tottenham Hotspur after an injury leading to the opening goal for Brighton and Hove Albion during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Tottenham Hotspur at American Express Community Stadium on October 05, 2019 in Brighton, United Kingdom.

Finally, consider the role of dementia in driving these concerns. Of course dementia is important, but this focus obscures the notable increased prevalence of motor neurone disease. This in turn backs up earlier Italian findings, and indeed need to be considered in relation to some high-profile cases of motor neurone disease in rugby union (South Africa’s Joost van der Westhuizen, Wales’ Ken Waters, and Scotland’s Doddie Weir). The relationship between evidence and the storyline reflects how we are both obsessed by dementia and in a panic about its impact on both individuals and the broader society. The Glasgow findings suggest that the greater risk of dementia is partly (note not wholly) balanced by the reduced risk of heart disease and lung cancer within this population, but the entire research project is predicated on the implicit assumption that dementia is the main illness to be feared.

The nature of the concussion crisis in sport means that this study tells us as much about the dangers of playing football as it does about the society in which we live. The concussion crisis in sport is particularly revealing; because neuroscience has so far proven so little there is a lot of room for extrapolation and speculation. There is no doubt in my mind that sports participants need much better information about how to recognise and respond to concussion, and concussion protocols need to be more effectively implemented at all levels of sport. But equally the response to findings such as these must be measured, or it will only serve to perpetuate sport’s concussion crisis and make it more difficult to resolve. 

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The end of sport as we know it has been decided, Omalu tells us . Even [the Greek physician] Hippocrates in 400BC recognised the dangers of concussions . The suspicion of concussion is allayed when they pass the test but on return to the field, or in the days that followed, they struggle.

The study - titled ' Football ' s Influence on Lifelong Health and Dementia Risk' or FIELD for short More from Dementia. Dementia care crisis 'costing businesses £3.2bn' as carers forced to quit jobs. "Whatever the FA does , it should be across the whole game. I know this was a study looking at the

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a close up of a sign: We don’t want to go all Yer Da’ on things – we’d much rather enjoy football than rally against the modern game.But we’re also not robots. There are certain things that you can’t help but simmer with fury about; trivial little things you can't help but mutter to yourself about in a quiet rage.We asked out Twitter followers recently what annoyed them the most about modern football…and we listened. Here are a selection of the more reasonable answers – with some of our own sprinkled on top for good measure.

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