Chapter 3: BRAIN BRIEFING
WARNING: Contents Are Fragile
The brain is beautiful, the new frontier of science. But the brain is also vulnerable. It’s fragile, gel-like consistency floats unattached inside the skull. When force is applied, as it does many times in sports collisions, the brain sloshes from side to side, end to end, almost like scrambling the yolk of an egg as it floats inside, without breaking its shell.
The consequences from concussions and undiagnosed brain injuries can be seen immediately or take several hours or even days for symptoms to materialize. But their effects can be life-altering. It’s a mystery that science and the sports world are unraveling. But they have to, because lives and futures are at stake, which until recently, have not been as important as wins and losses.
For example, the Wall Street Journal reported on the front page in 2008, that undiagnosed brain injuries are a major cause of:
- Psychiatric illness
- Depression and anxiety
- Alcoholism and drug abuse
- Learning problems
To better understand concussions, first we need a better understanding of the brain itself. It’s a wonderfully complex organ, and “command central” literally responsible for regulating or executing every move we make, every word we say, every emotion we feel and every thought we think. It’s precious to life. Therefore, preserving its health is the key to a long life, full of memories, special moments and success.
In this chapter, I want to instill a healthy respect for the brain, and its functions. You don’t have to be a neurologist to manage concussions, but I believe the more you understand the brain, the more you will understand the implications of suffering brain trauma and the potential for short- and long-term consequences.
Brain health is so critical to proper life functioning that maybe helmets should include a label “WARNING: Contents Are Fragile.”
Excerpt from "Concussion-ology: Redefining Sports Concussion Management for All Levels," by Harry Kerasidis, published by Author House, a division of Penguin Random House.