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Domestic Violence and Abuse

Michigan Minds: Concussions Research

So a concussion is defined as a
biomechanical force imparted upon the brain that results in a transient set of
signs and symptoms. It occurs along a spectrum of brain injury so you will
commonly hear the term concussion interchanged with mild
traumatic brain injury which obviously falls along the mildest end of the
spectrum all the way out to severe traumatic brain injury. So I’ve been
doing concussion research for close to 20 years now and when I started we would it was kind of viewed as a blow off injury. Most people when they
think of the injury they think of it in the sporting context and it’s estimated
up to four million sport and recreation related injuries occur each year, but
really it extends far beyond that. Obviously individuals slipping on the
ice in Michigan can fall hit their head, automobile accidents, and then most
recently the the two most recent military engagements that we’ve been
involved with concussion and traumatic brain injury as a whole has been viewed
as the signature injury of those two conflicts. So I think that the single
largest bit of misinformation that’s out there is this idea that once you’ve had
one concussion or maybe you played one season of football in high school that
you’re destined to these neurodegenerative diseases. And that
simply does not seem to be the case just from an observational standpoint and so
what we’re trying to understand is some of these people will end up with neuro
degeneration and we want to know why, what exposure does it take, what’s the
genetic profile of these individuals, what other lifestyle factors may
predispose them to these declines that they’re seeing, and then once we identify
that then we can talk about interventions or things that may
mitigate their effects.

Cesar Sullivan

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