The movie “Concussion” is set to open in a few days and, with the opening, the discussions around the effects of multiple concussions and sub-concussive hits are expected to increase. “Concussion” is surrounded in controversy about the role of the NFL in pressuring the producers to tone down the presentation of the NFL and its management of concussions in the players. Will the film we see be the product of the NFL’s pressure on the producer or will it accurately depict the research findings into the cause of CTE?
The discovery of CTE or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy was the work accomplished by Bennet Omalu, MD, a pathologist, who conducted the study of Mike Webster’s brain and identified changes in his brain which did not match existing and known diseases of the brain. Subsequent to Dr. Omalu’s initial discovery, CTE has been seen in many former athletes who experienced multiple concussions and later changes to their behavior, emotional regulation and cognitive abilities. Dr. Omalu is played by Will Smith in the film who came to identify his own concerns with brain injury and football after reading the script.
NeuroNotes has addressed the effects of concussion, including CTE, in many blog posts over the last few years. Athletes like, former NFL player, George Visger and retired boxer, Ray Ciancaglini have contributed to the discussions about concussion and CTE on these pages.