Concussions occur in every sport. While many athletes are compelled to just "shake it off" and keep playing, the devastating effects of these brain injuries have recently sparked more public awareness.
In The Concussion Crisis, Linda Carroll and David Rosner provide stories of real people dealing with the consequences of concussions. As doctors and scientists attempt to uncover the complexities of head trauma, Carroll and Rosner take readers into laboratories and treatment clinics where advancements are taking place. They also investigate the factors that kept the growing epidemic out of the public eye, and narrate the increased attention given to sports concussions after early retirements by pro athletes such as Troy Aikman and Steve Young.
The anecdotes involving athletes whose lives have been derailed after they've suffered concussions that they haven't taken seriously continue to accumulate.
The Concussion Crisis begins with the story of a young man who plays through headaches, blurred vision, and evidence that he'd begun to suffer seizures. When he finally decides to consult a doctor, the doctor tells him never to play football again. The young football player follows that advice right up until the point where he begins to feel better, then he returns to football. Shortly thereafter, he drops out of school because when he sits down to study in the evening, he can no longer remember whether he went to class that day.
Even the men running the National Football League have acknowledged that players knocked silly should perhaps not run right back on to the field to get knocked silly again. The NHL seems to be enforcing rules against hockey players bent on hitting their opponents in the head when their opponents aren't looking. These developments suggest that the concussion crisis is no longer as "silent" as it used to be, say, 18 months ago. But co-authors Linda Carroll and David Rosner convincingly maintain that lots of people, whether or not they are athletes, regard concussions as a nuisance rather than as potentially life-altering brain injuries. If their book educates some of those people — particularly those of them coaching and/or parenting young athletes — then they will have performed a worthwhile service.
This segment aired on October 1, 2011.