Traumatic Brain Injury: The Most Frequent Cause of Disability in America

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According to the Brain Injury Association of America (2010), traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the most frequent cause of disability and death among children and adolescents in the United States of America. Approximately 300,000 sports-related brain injuries occur on a yearly basis (Thurman & Guerrero, 1999). Repeated mild brain injuries over an extended period of time could result in neurological and cognitive deficits (Center for Disease and Prevention Control, 2005). Due to these potential long-term ramifications and the increasing rates of concussions, lawmakers have proposed federal and state laws in order to protect the well being of student athletes.
Literature relevant to the implementation of the concussion law in New Jersey and the potential dangers associated with not implementing such laws will be reviewed. Brain anatomy and the brain’s vulnerability to concussion, the impact of Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS), and the risk of even more debilitating conditions, such as Second Impact Syndrome (SIS) and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) will also be reviewed. It is extremely important to understand the effects of concussion on the brain, because the type of injury and magnitude of injury could lead to particular cognitive or neurological deficits, which in turn impacts return-to-play decisions.
Concussion in high-school athletes
McKeveer and Schatz (2003) reported that more than 5% of high school athletes sustain concussion each year while participating in…

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