You are on page 1of 5


Dillon Brown
Mrs. DeBock
English 4
25 February 2015
The Effects of Concussion on Athletes
Why should we do more for those who suffer from concussions? Concussions can take
everything and leave you lost in a matter of seconds. Concussions are deadly and many take
them as a headache, when in reality, they could kill you. We should do more for those who suffer
from concussion because it can destroy someone's life and ruin a family. And major sport leagues
are slacking on updating concussion protocols. Protection and prevention should be given to
athletes who have sustained a concussion because it could affect them in the long-run and they
are more prone to CTE than others.
Ongoing studies are already in effect to find out the effects concussions can carry on
athletes, and they usually find the brain being the most affected area. One of the studies that were
carried out was a study on the working memory capacity on those who have sustained
concussion and those who have not. By having three tables, the first table being athletes
competing in head-contact-prone sports (soccer and football) who have sustained multiple
concussions, the second table being athletes who compete in non-head-contact sports (basketball,
baseball, etc), and the third table being non athlete students. Each student was the AOSPAN
(automated operation scan) test. The test presents a series of simple mathematical problems that,
when solved, generate a brief presentation of a letter on the computer screen. After a sequence of
math question resulting in a series of letters, the students must place the letters in order. Bear in
mind, getting a high score on the exam is a bad thing. Nonathletes were averaging a score of

38.4, while athletes were averaging a score of 40.5, and finally concussed athletes were
averaging a whopping 44.5, with soccer and football bringing in a total of 44.8% of the high
scores on the exam. Our results suggest that athletes competing in sports that impose significant
WM (working memory) score higher on the AOSPAN than do other athletes (Mayers 532).
Struggles athletes go through include problems paying attention, short-term memory, having
difficulties performing everyday tasks and feeling slower overall. Athletes suffering from
multiple concussions are usually told of their rough future, however, why are we not helping
them now to solve the struggles their future hold? (Mayers 532). Using these studies, most
doctors understand how sports that are more physical than others play a huge role in their
studies, and they use the information gathered from the studies to determine what is best for
athletes, even if that means that they can not play that sport anymore. Yet, some leagues are
ignoring these facts because they believe that it could hurt the income their sport brings in.
Most teams and coaches in big athletic leagues tend to rush players back onto the field
after a concussion, when in reality, they are sending them into a future of confusion and pain.
The NFL, BPL, NBA and other leagues are beginning to implement policies geared toward
protecting those who have suffered a concussion. But are they doing enough? Todays athletes
are full-time professionals who train vigorously all year, even when their sport is not in season,
as a result they are better conditioned and games are played harder and faster (Walter 1). Sports
are always involving, football players are training to hit harder, pitchers are now averaging a
fastball that reach over 100 mph, soccer players are trained to go after the ball at all costs and
basketball players are getting more physical were as a broken nose is an uncommon sight. Even
though major professional leagues are taking steps toward uniform concussion policies, those
policies alone will not protect the player. Until professional sport leagues establish uniform

procedures for treating concussions, mandate the wearing of the best equipment to protect
athletes and severely punish those who are looking to hurt others while playing, athletes could be
in danger; for no good reason, and each game could be their last (Walter 2). We should be trying
to help those who have trouble with life because of concussions.
Many may think that concussions are not really dangerous because they are so common
and when you sustain a concussion you should be able to shake it off, but the short and long-term
effects concussions carry can be devastating. Multiple concussions can lead to a lifetime of pain
and even CTE, CTE is a progressive degenerative disease that causes memory loss, confusion,
impaired judgement, aggression, and eventually, progressive dementia (Wilcox 28). Concussion
do not have a real cure, but doctors have come to the conclusion that patients should rest both
mentally and physically. Another devastating result of concussions is SIS (second-impact
syndrome). SIS can occur when a person, almost always teenagers, suffers a second concussion
before fully healing from the first. In SIS the brain undergoes massive cerebral edema after the
second concussion, swelling rapidly inside the skull. The swelling crushes the brains blood
vessels inside the skull, which is usually fatal (Wilcox 15). Concussions have so many effects
on people, and when coaches and athletes try to rush back onto the field, they need to know what
could happen and ask themselves if it is really worth it.
Protection and prevention should be given to athletes who suffer from concussions
because of the short and long-term effects it they have and they are more prone to CTE. Using
information like this, we should help those in need that suffer from concussions and CTE.
Athletes who suffer from long-term concussion symptoms often forget their name, family and
life. Leagues should look at the outcome of what concussions have done to their athletes and
understand the impact it has on them and stop putting all focus on the economic part of the

business. Concussions are dangerous and many do not understand that. They should be treated
with extreme precaution, because if you are rushing yourself and trying to get on the field as
soon as possible, you are basically putting your life on the line and it is not worth the risk.

Works Cited
Mayers, Lester B.Redick, Thomas S.Chiffriller, Sheila H.Simone, Ashley N.Terraforte, Keith R.
"Working Memory Capacity Among Collegiate Student Athletes: Effects Of
Sport-Related Head Contacts, Concussions, And Working Memory Demands." Journal

Of Clinical & Experimental Neuropsychology 33.5 (2011): 532-537. Psychology and
Behavioral Sciences Collection. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.
Walter, Andrew. "Counterpoint: Professional Sports Associations Should Protect Athletes From
Concussions." Points Of View: Concussions In Pro Sports (2015): 1. Points of View
Reference Center. Web. 16 Feb. 2016.
Wilcox, Christine. Is Enough Being Done to Protect Athletes from Concussions? New York:
Reference Point, 2015. Print.