Head Games is a film to watch

Head Games is a powerful film that lays out the history of head trauma, concussions and the NFL within the context of other organized and professional sports. Watching the film, I was struck by the rapid progress in awareness and knowledge that has been made since 2006. Prior to 2006, dementia pugilistica was the term used to refer to what […]

Read More →

FIFA needs to get on the clue bus

I know that I sound like a broken record when it comes to concussions but apparently the message is not being received. So I feel compelled to broadcast again and again and again and again the importance of careful management of head trauma. I did not follow the World Cup but received information about the Pereira incident from a colleague. The […]

Read More →

The latest CTE news

I read with dismay the latest news that chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) has been identified in a young man who played mostly amateur soccer. Patrick Grange played soccer throughout his childhood and in college and even in semi-pro leagues. He developed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in his mid-20s and died at age 29. His brain was studied and the pathology reported is a grade 2 case (out of a 4-point scale) of CTE. Here I want to make two points. First, this news further deepens parents’ and young people’s dilemmas regarding sports. The most commonly played organized sport among youth in the world, even in the latecomer U.S., is soccer (or football in the parlance of the world outside of the U.S.). Much was made of Patrick Grange’s penchant for head-butting the ball. However, it is not clear at all that Mr Grange’s CTE was a result of his head-butting proclivities. His parents report that he suffered from at least 3 serious concussions. Regardless of which injuries were in the straw-pile that broke the camel’s back, I think that most parents recognize that soccer can be a dangerous sport. Weighing the positive physical and social benefits of team sports against the potential for future disability is a personal judgment call. The influence of future harm upon the final decision is greatly impacted by discounting as discussed in a previous post. The second point to be made here is the connection between […]

Read More →