The NFL & Football Head Injuries
After all the celebrating and champagne toasts, after all the confetti has been swept from the floor, many players are still left with trauma to their brains from all those “hits” on the field, even those that don’t lead to an actual concussion. While we as fans are exhilirated by the way players put their body on the lines while we watch them and gamble on their actions using sites such as FanDuel, hard hitting tackles in the NFL can result in long lasting injuries, especially through the effects of concussion. This can result in significant damage years down the road. An article in the February issue of Scientific American, What Football Does to Brains, is very timely.
In an injury nerve cells get stretched and damaged, causing “leaky” neurons. The neuron loses its capacity to regulate ions coming into and out of the cell. As a result, the “signal” travelling down the length of the nerve doesn’t function properly. Repeated concussions can lead to degeneration, where the cell’s structural support begins to fall apart. Protein enzymes leak out of the nucleus and form clumps in the cytoplasm. The sequence of events isn’t clear, but eventually this may lead to the death of a neuron.
But football is only “a game”, right? Sure–like an earthquake is just a tremor. The next blog will look at neurofeedback, the only effective treatment for post-concussion syndrome. And LENS neurofeedback in particular, gets the fastest results.