CHANGING THE CULTURE OF CONCUSSION
Peer educators, Brianna Ferrell and Meghan Guagenti, work with their fellow soccer team members.
CHC announces the formation of the Center for Concussion Education of Chestnut Hill College. By Brenda Lange oncussions are big news. From “Concussion,” the movie starring Will Smith, to the risks posed to professional football players, concern about this form of brain injury has been steadily growing among the general public and especially among the scientific and athletic communities. It seems clear now that the dangers associated with concussion, especially from repeated blows to the head, are higher than previously thought or admitted. PBS reported last fall that researchers with the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University have identified chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative disease believed to come from repetitive head trauma, in 96 percent of the NFL players they examined. The results
18 CHESTNUT HILL
of the study suggest that repeated, relatively minor head trauma that regularly occurs in football poses the greatest risk to players. With children beginning to play football and other contact sports as young as pre-elementary school, increased measures are being taken around the country to educate parents, players, athletes, trainers and anyone associated with such sports about prevention, the symptoms of concussion, the importance of reporting them and treatment.
WHAT IS A CONCUSSION? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, stretching and damaging the brain cells, creating chemical changes in the brain. They are also common – with up to 3.8 million traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, occurring annually in the United