Amateur players need to beware of knock-on effect of concussion
One of the Carlton greats, Greg Williams, has
memory loss. He won't be alone.
The US President Barack Obama spoke for all parents when he
recently raised the topic of long-term damage caused by concussion
in contact sports. In an interview with The New Republic, he said:
''I have to tell you, if I had a son, I'd have to think long and
hard before I let him play football.''
The issue of long-term brain injury due to sport - whether
professional or amateur - hit the headlines this week when Brownlow
medallist and AFL premiership player Greg Williams talked of his
own memory loss, which he blames on concussion he suffered while
Williams is right when he says that - while it is important to
recognise the risk of brain injury in our elite hockey, rugby, AFL
and rugby union players - it's also critically important to
recognise that these same injuries can happen to children every
weekend, with much more serious results.
Last December, the international journal, Brain, published a study
showing evidence of an increased risk of brain injury among
athletes, military veterans and others who absorbed repeated hits
to the head. The study, which included brain samples taken
posthumously from 85 people who had histories of repeated mild
traumatic brain injury, is further evidence that even mild head
trauma can result in long-term cognitive impairment.
References and further information