HIGHSCHOOL SPORTS ANDCONCUSSIONS CTE A wareness and R eactive L egislation
Odd February Holidays 1. National Freedom Day 2. Groundhog Day 3. Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day 4. Super Bowl Sunday 5. National Weatherman’s Day 6. National Chopsticks Day 7. Wave All Your Fingers at Your Neighbor Day 8. Kite Flying Day 9. National Pizza Day 10. Umbrella Day FROM THE DESK OF Mark Petro
11. National Inventors Day 12. National Lost Penny Day 13. Get a Different Name Day 14. Valentine’s Day 15. Singles Awareness Day 16. Do a Grouch a Favor Day 17. Random Acts of Kindness Day 18. National Drink Wine Day 19. President’s Day 20. Love Your Pet Day 21. Card Reading Day 22. National Margarita Day 23. Tennis Day 24. National Tortilla Chip Day 25. Pistol Patent Day 26. Tell a Fairy Tale Day 27. No-Brainer Day 28. Public Sleeping Day
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive, degenerative disease caused by repetitive head trauma. Studies show that CTE leads to dementia, memory loss, suicidal thoughts, and personality and mood changes. Bennet Omalu, a forensic neuropathologist and the chief medical examiner for San Joaquin County in California, first identified CTE in 2002 during an autopsy of former Pittsburgh Steelers center MikeWebster. Before then, CTE had only been seen in boxers. When the film“Concussion”opened in 2015, more people were exposed to the story of the discovery of CTE in football players and to the dangers associated with the disease. According to the Mayo Clinic, some possible signs of CTE include difficulty thinking, impulsive behavior, depression, emotional instability, substance abuse, irritability, aggression, and motor impairment. While CTE has been recognized by the NFL as a risk of playing professional football, until recently, few high school players, parents, and coaches gave CTE and concussion protocol a second thought. In July of 2017, a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association presented a startling statistic: CTE was discovered in 3 out of 14 high school players and 48 out of 53 college players whose brains had been donated to the Boston University School of Medicine. Additionally, CTE was found in 110 out of 111 former NFL players. The study also showed high rates of CTE among semiprofessional and Canadian Football League players. Although the findings are incredibly alarming, there was one flaw in the study. All of the athletes’ brains were donated to the brain bank set up by the VA Boston Health Care System, Boston University School of Medicine, and the Concussion Legacy Foundation.
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