Athletes can suffer debilitating disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) which can be fatal.
Concussions and traumatic brain injuries are leading cause of cognitive dysfunction affecting all ages including the young engaged in sport injuries. The brain and spinal cord are in fact ‘floating’ inside the skull attached to the bony skull via ligaments called dura, dentate ligaments, and arachnoid villi. When head sustains a strong blunt force, it leads to acceleration-deceleration (i.e. ‘to-fro’) movements within the skull often leading the shear injury and mechanical tearing of neuronal tracts (e.g. ‘long’ tracts). The frontal, temporal, and occipital regions of brain are most affected leading to poor concentration, memory loss, headaches, dizziness, visual disturbances, difficulty with smell and taste, and poor mood. With repeated back-to-back concussions in short time periods, permanent injury can result.
Parkinson’s, ALS (Lou-Gehrig’s) disease have been linked to repeated concussions. Good news is that vast majority of concussions resolve without any permanent injury. There is no specific medication for concussions or (TBI). However, brain stimulation, neurofeedback, and cognitive rehab has proven to be very helpful in speeding up recovery and preventing further injuries.