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Amateur players need to beware of knock-on effect of concussion

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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 playing.

 

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

The original article was produced by the Sydney Morning Herald.


To view the rest of this article, visit the Sydney Morning Herald website.
http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/amateur-players-need-to-beware-of-knockon-effect-of-concussion-20130226-2f3yj.html

 

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