Medical professionals simply do not understand enough about the long-term connection between brain health, concussions, and sports (or other high-force accidents like car crashes). A recent Michigan Alumni Brain Health Study considered whether sports participation and concussions are linked to a person’s future brain health.
Researchers at the University of Michigan School of Nursing and Michigan Medicine compared factors such as mood, pain, cognitive, and functional outcome health in both men and women who had experienced traumatic brain injuries. This study group included both athletes and non-athletes who attended the University of Michigan within the last decade.
The Long-Term History of Sports Injuries and Concussions
Many professional athletes and individuals who have been injured in accidents have had their lives and careers upended due to their traumatic brain injuries. Many factors influence which individuals are later diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive brain disease often believed to be connected to head trauma. Existing and emerging research, especially that among professional football players, has resulted in lawsuits that helped to establish the creation of concussion safety protocols.
The medical professional who led this study has commented that the research is necessary to fill in gaps in the field of study. Population-based research among young athletes shows no substantial side effects on a person’s brain while that individual ages. Pathological CTE has been found in many of the brains of deceased athletes who have donated their bodies to science. Only autopsies can effectively diagnose CTEs.
Comments on the Study
Fortunately, some people with traumatic brain injuries / concussions suffer from mild symptoms which resolve more quickly. Researchers hope to start analyzing the data from this important study by the middle of 2023 and then follow up with an additional study and in-person assessments. This includes both formal cognitive testing and scans of volunteers’ brains and biomarker levels.
The University of Michigan’s Athletics Department has played a significant role by helping promote the results of this research among former athletes. The Athletics Department joins with the Concussion Center in various ways, including supporting the center’s research, providing access to student-athletes, and advising on overall strategy.
Researchers behind the study commented that as they conduct additional research into both head trauma and related factors, they will be able to provide better details to young athletes so they can make smart and healthy choices. The study will provide additional details when deciding whether to engage in risky or high-contact sports. The researchers hope that this study will help inform sports organizations about how to appropriately intervene when these types of injuries happen.
Contact an Accident Attorney Today
Traumatic brain injuries can end up greatly disrupting a person’s quality of life. If you or a loved one is facing a traumatic brain injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced lawyer. Contact House Law LLC today for assistance.
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