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What are the effects of concussions on NFL players?

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mcabo | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted January 23, 2013 at 1:33 PM via web

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What are the effects of concussions on NFL players?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 23, 2013 at 2:47 PM (Answer #1)

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While the science is not completely definitive at this point, there is mounting evidence that concussions, and even lesser injuries to the brains of players in the National Football League (NFL) can lead to very serious physical, mental, and emotional problems.  There have been several high-profile cases in recent years in which former players have committed suicide and autopsies have revealed brain problems that might have been caused by concussions and which might have helped bring about the suicides.

On one level, the impact of concussions and other head trauma is physical.  Some ex-players experience such things as frequent and intense headaches.  These can be so intense as to be debilitating.  On another level, the problems are mental.  Some ex-players have experienced memory loss on a serious scale.  They can often suffer from losses in cognitive function.  These men essentially have symptoms of dementia years before they should be likely to exhibit such symptoms were it not for the brain traumas they suffered.  Finally, the problems can be emotional.  There are links between cumulative traumas to the brain and depression.  This link may help to explain why some players have committed suicide in recent years.

Thus, concussions and lesser injuries to the brain may be impairing the physical, mental, and emotional health of former NFL players. 

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