CONCUSSION – CAUSES, SYMPTOMS AND PREVENTION TIPS: THINGS WE NEED TO KNOW

CONCUSSION – CAUSES, SYMPTOMS AND
PREVENTION TIPS: THINGS WE NEED TO KNOW

On
weekends, my routine activities include cleaning the house among other
domestic chores, spending some time with a childhood friend and making sure I
stay updated on happenings around the world by watching my favourite news
channel, reading books and articles on the internet, listening to my beloved
rap artistes and catching up with the latest Hollywood movies.
The
movie – Concussion inspired me to a large extent, I was personally elevated to
learn that there are patriotic Nigerians who are doing notable things in every
corner of the world and Nigeria is blessed with great and gigantic individuals
who defy odds to achieve positive results in their chosen professions.
Concussion
is a 2015 American biographical sports drama film directed and written by Peter
Landesman. It was produced by Ridley Scott, Giannina Scott, David Wolthoff,
Larry Shuman, and Elizabeth Cantillon. The story was based on the exposé
“Game Brain” by Jeanne Marie Laskas, published in 2009 by GQ
magazine. Set in 2002, the film stars Will Smith as Dr. Bennet Omalu, a Nigerian-born
American forensic pathologist who fights against the National Football League (NFL)
trying to suppress his research on the Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)
brain degeneration suffered by professional football players. It also stars
Alec Baldwin, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Albert Brooks. Columbia Pictures released
the film on December 25th, 2015. The film grossed US$48 million on
its US$35 million budget.
In
2002, former Pittsburgh Steelers centre forward Mike Webster is found dead in his
pickup truck, after years of self-mutilation and homelessness. Bennet Omalu, a
forensic pathologist with the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania coroner’s office,
handles Webster’s autopsy. He wonders how a man, otherwise healthy, and fairly
young, could have degenerated so quickly, and makes it a point to figure out
why he died of a heart attack at 50. Omalu closely examines microscope slides
of Webster’s brain and discovers that he had severe brain damage. He ultimately
determines that Webster died as a result of the long-term effects of repeated
blows to the head, a disorder he later calls the Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
(CTE). With the help of former Steelers team doctor Julian Bailes, fellow
neurologist Steven T. DeKosky and county coroner Cyril Wecht, Omalu publishes a
paper on his findings, which is initially dismissed by the NFL. (Source:
Wikipedia.com – Concussion)

Definition
& Causes
Concussion
is typically defined as a head injury with a temporary loss of brain function. It
is also known as minor Head Trauma or mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) and it
is the most common type of traumatic brain injury.
The
Human brain is a soft organ that is surrounded by the cerebrospinal fluid and
protected by our hard skull. The fluid around the brain acts like a cushion
that keeps it from banging into the skull but if our head or body is hit hard;
the brain can crash into the skull and be injured.
In
consequence, there are many ways to get a concussion. Some common ways include
fights, falls, playground injuries, car crashes, and bike accidents.
Concussions can also happen while participating in any sport or activity such
as football, boxing, hockey, soccer, skiing or snowboarding to mention a few.

Signs
& Symptoms
Symptoms
include a variety of physical, cognitive and emotional symptoms which may not
be recognized if subtle. A variety of signs accompany concussion including
headache, feeling in a fog and emotional changeability. Physical signs (such as
loss of consciousness or amnesia), behavioural changes (such as irritability),
cognitive impairment (such as slowed reaction times) or sleep disturbances.
Fewer than 10% of sports-related concussions among children are associated with
loss of consciousness. Although, there may be cuts or bruises on the head or
face, there may be no other visible signs of a brain injury.
According
to information from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s
official website, some response to concussion can also be influenced by
genetics.  People who have a history of
dementia or Alzheimer’s disease in their family can be more at risk for having
a worse response after a concussion. 
This is because some people have proteins (Tau) in the brain that
already place them at risk of memory problems, which can be aggravated by
concussion.  This results in more
cognitive difficulties with memory, concentration and motivation after
experiencing a concussion.

Prevention
& Treatment Tips
The
best way to prevent concussion is to ensure the overall orientation of
participants on the threats of concussion and guarantee that all safety
measures are put in place before resuming sporting and physical activities that
are risky. Use any recommended safety equipment, ensure all coaches are fully
trained in concussion avoidance, identification and treatment, and know your
personal concussion history. 
Most
importantly, stop participating in sports or leisure activities if there is any
indication of potential injury to the head or neck, as total avoidance is
evidently the most potent prevention tip and seek medical attention when
necessary.
Deductively,
the best treatment for symptoms of concussion involves an assessment of
vestibular function by a physical therapist. 
A comprehensive vestibular evaluation should include examination of
balance activities that involve the vestibular, vision and proprioceptive
systems, which reveals how the brain interprets movement of the body and head
relative to space and the visual surround. 
A cervical examination determines if neck sprain or dizziness from the
neck is contributing to symptoms and perpetuating headaches.  Based on examination findings, customized
exercises and recommendations for participating in or modifying school, work
and home activities expedites recovery. (Source:
www.cdc.gov/concussion/signs_symptoms.html)
Conclusion
Lastly,
I believe that the information on concussion discussed above is basically to
educate and equip us on the potential risks and hazards of a condition we constantly
overlook. Concussion is obviously relatively under-reported and publicized but
the extents of its damages are in alarming proportions.
Conclusively,
I implore everyone reading this short but prodigious piece to ensure that we
educate someone else on Concussion, its causes, symptoms and prevention tips.
God
Bless Us All
.


Oluwole Olusanya
Oluwole Olusanya
Oluwole Olusanya is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of one of the fastest-growing lifestyle and entertainment website in the country. He is a banker, writer, blogger, public affairs analyst and a tax consultant. He anchors Trending Topics on SHEFFA where he shares his thoughts and opinions on trending issues. He is currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Business Administration at the University of South Wales, Wales, United Kingdom. He has diplomas in Banking and Finance, Investigative Journalism, Creative Writing, and Linguistics from Lagos State Polytechnic, Isolo, Lagos, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland and The Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.