Concussion

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by swfouvkyf
Last updated 4 years ago

Discipline:
Health & Fitness
Subject:
Health
Grade:
7,8,9,10,11,12

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Concussion

Omalu's research on CTE had an impact, but not the one he expected. When the NFL responded aggressively, he was genuinely surprised. He thought professional football would welcome his research as a way to "enhance the lives and safety and health of the players," Omalu said

Research

The new Will Smith movie Concussion has put the spotlight back on the dangers of football. Smith portrays Dr. Bennet Omalu, the Nigerian immigrant who was the first to publish research on the degenerative brain disease he called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.Omalu, a forensic pathologist, noticed something strange in 2002 when performing an autopsy of Mike Webster, a famous former player for the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the years following his retirement, Webster suffered from mental and financial problems. He died at age 50 of a heart attack, Omalu said.

NFL

movie

Dr. Omalu

Growing up in Nigeria, Dr. Bennet Omalu knew next to nothing about American football. He didn’t watch the games, he didn’t know the teams, and he certainly didn’t know the name Mike Webster.That changed in 2002 when Omalu was assigned to perform an autopsy on the legendary Steelers center. Webster had died at 50, but to Omalu, he looked far older. Football had taken a punishing toll on his body. It was Omalu’s job to measure the damage.

Football Concussion

The goal, Omalu said, was to "brand" the term CTE — not to sell anything, but to create awareness. "It was more likely to be impactful," he said. "If I had just published it as a case report without a name in a scientific journal, it would have just fizzled, and become swallowed up by the body of existing literature."He found that repetitive impact to the head, like the players take in football, causes microscopic injuries in the brain. Hundreds of these blows over time cause permanent brain damage."Sometimes it may take weeks, months, years, decades, sometimes up to 40 years later ... and you will now begin to manifest with symptoms like mood disorders, major depression, suicidal attempts, suicides, loss of intelligence ... you begin to lose your learned behavior," Omalu said.

Omalu's research on CTE had an impact, but not the one he expected. When the NFL responded aggressively, trying to ignore his work because of the negative financial impact on the NFL, he was genuinely surprised. He thought professional football would welcome his research as a way to "enhance the lives and safety and health of the players," Omalu said


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