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Concussions On The National Football League

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The National Football League, more commonly known as the NFL, has had growing cases of retired players that suffer from mental trauma or mental diseases from concussions. A concussion is a short loss of brain function following a direct or indirect force to the head. Concussions are extremely difficult to diagnose because the damage is seemingly invisible to the naked eye. Although the damages may not be present, the effects are long lasting. Concussions are plaguing retired NFL players and affecting the former athletes long term mental health. For this reason, there has been a lot of research suggesting that the NFL is not doing enough for it’s athletes to shelter their brains. They have struggled with reporting and correctly diagnosing…show more content…
Statistics show NFL players are paid $1.9 million a year on average. An injury as severe and time-consuming as a concussion can undoubtedly counteract this kind of pay. Professional athletes do not want to jeopardize sitting out a game and missing their opportunity, “‘[t]he return to play decision is based on symptoms, and the problem is the players all want to get back yesterday and the question is whether they are being truthful and honest’ during their evaluations, Stieg said” (Futterman). There is nothing doctors or trainers can do if the athlete lies about being symptom free. They can suspect the severity of the concussion by just observing the athlete’s behavioral response toward certain things, like light or noise. As a result, early identification is extremely beneficial to accurately examine damages to the brain because it leads to degenerative diseases. These diseases are hard to catch if symptoms are not shown in the athlete right away. The NFL has to adopt better protocol to diagnose concussions based on medical data instead of assessing by judgment (Futterman). A more scientific approach is being studied that can diagnose concussions faster and more accurately. By using a simple blood test after six hours of forceful impact, the test can display brain cells that have broken down succeeding the impact. By exercising such a test, it can rid the uncertainty of when it is safe to get an athlete back on the field without triggering further cognitive damages.
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