On Superbowl Eve a Player Reflects

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Ed Reed of the Ravens is reflecting on his NFL career, the number of concussions he’s experienced and some of the problems he has with memory. While Mr. Reed doesn’t seem to regret what football has offered him in his career, he does focus on the issues that he and his family may experience in the years to come.

Football injuries have come under the microscope, both literally and figuratively, as more players acknowledge the effects of concussions and the development of cognitive and psychological problems over time and the research studies further define the diagnosis of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE as the result of repeated concussive injuries. Recently, we mourned the death of Junior Seau and Dave Dursen, both by suicide as they lost their struggles with brain injury. Clearly, repeated concussions is the cause of neurological condition which can effect a player long after their career is over.

Recently Steve Largent, a former pro-footballer with the Seahawks and former congressman from Oklahoma commented that the federal government had no business in football injuries and that players just needed to be armed with information to make their own decisions. Largent, now 58, had a stroke at age 50 and wonders about the impact of concussions on his life and health, yet he is steadfast in his thinking about the government’s role in football safety.

Repeated concussions from sports, or for that matter from involvement in warfare, causes long term deficits with far reaching effects. As much as football is the national sport and we all enjoy the Superbowl we need to examine what can be done to improve the safety of players, enhance the early detection of injuries and provide timely treatment to those who have experienced brain injuries, including after their careers are over. If it takes the government’s role in dealing with the health problems related to football, then let’s allow them to offer their help.

Click here to read Ed Reed’s reflections on the sport:

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/ed-reed-reflects-contradictions-of-nfl-s-head-injury-issues-214102972.html

Tag lines: concussion, mild brain injury, Ed Reed, Steve Largent, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, CTE, Junior Seau, Dave Dursen

About Rolf Gainer Ph.D.

Dr. Rolf Gainer is the founder of the Neurologic Rehabilitation Institute at Brookhaven Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma as well as the Neurological Rehabilitation Institute of Ontario, in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Gainer is a psychologist with more than twenty-five years of experience in the treatment and rehabilitation of individuals with brain injuries and a dual diagnosis. Dr. Gainer has designed and operated innovative rehabilitation programs in the United States and Canada for individuals who have been regarded as difficult to serve. He is currently involved in conducting two outcome studies related to the long-term issues faced by individuals with brain injuries and a dual diagnosis. He has presented papers throughout the United States and Canada in many professional conferences and educational forums.
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