The Flood Of Media Attention On Brain Injuries

974 WordsJul 20, 20164 Pages
[Dek:] Women suffer from concussions at a higher rate than men, have more severe symptoms and are slower to recover. Why? No one knows for certain. But PINKconcussions is working to find the answer. [Lede:] Like most of us, Katherine Price Sloan Snedaker, Kansas—founder and executive director of PINKconcussions—intends to make the most of her brain while she’s got it. After all, she can’t take it with her. When the end inevitably comes, it’s her hope (and her advance directive) that scientists studying Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)—a degenerative brain disease caused by repetitive brain trauma—will make even more of it. But she’s not waiting until then to make a difference. [paragraph break] The flood of media attention highlighting brain damage, dementia and suicides among NFL players has inextricably linked concussions and football in the public psyche. The attention has been justified: Last year, researchers working with the Concussion Legacy Foundation conducted a post-mortem study of the brains of men who had played football on the college, semi-pro and professional levels. Out of those 165 brains, 131 showed signs of CTE, indicating that not only is the debilitating disease a risk, it’s probably more prevalent among these athletes than previously thought. In fixating exclusively on football, however, the concussion controversy has lacked a certain breadth. That’s because beyond the line of scrimmage, it’s women—not men—who are most likely to be afflicted by

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