QUOTE FOR MONDAY:

“The thyroid gland is regulated by thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), which is produced by the pituitary gland at the base of the brain. TSH stimulates the thyroid gland to make thyroid hormones and secrete them into the blood. The thyroid hormones control the body’s metabolism and can affect cholesterol levels.”

American Thyroid Association (www.thyroid.org)

 

Thyroid Disease Awareness Month-Part I The A&P of the organ.

thyroid awareness month1  thyroid awareness month2

There is an alarming number of people in America that have issues with their thyroid, in fact it’s a huge number, around 59 million people suffer from a thyroid problem. A thyroid handles your metabolism and is a gland located in the neck area. It can have huge negative affects on your health if it is not treated properly. Many people aren’t even aware that they have any symptoms that are connected with a thyroid; but before going into the problems lets first talk about what the thyroid is.

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ located in the base of your neck. It releases hormones that control metabolism—the way your body uses energy. The thyroid’s hormones regulate vital body functions, including:

  • Breathing, Heart rate, Central and peripheral nervous systems, Body weight, Muscle strength
  • Menstrual cycles, Body temperature, Cholesterol levels & Much more! Did you know this?

How the Thyroid Gland Works:

  • The thyroid gland is about 2-inches long and lies in front of your throat below the prominence of thyroid cartilage sometimes called the Adam’s apple. The thyroid has two sides called lobes that lie on either side of your windpipe, and is usually connected by a strip of thyroid tissue known as an isthmus. Some people do not have an isthmus, and instead have two separate thyroid lobes.
  • The thyroid is part of the endocrine system, which is made up of glands that produce, store, and release hormones into the bloodstream so the hormones can reach the body’s cells. The thyroid gland uses iodine from the foods you eat to make two main hormones:
  • Triiodothyronine (T3)
  • Thyroxine (T4)The hypothalamus senses low circulating levels of thyroid hormone (Triiodothyronine (T3) and Thyroxine (T4)) and responds by releasing thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH). The TRH stimulates the pituitary telling it to produce thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH); releasing it in the blood.
  • It is important that T3 and T4 levels are neither too high nor too low. Two glands in the brain—the hypothalamus and the pituitary communicate to maintain T3 and T4 balance.
  • When T3 and T4 levels are low in the blood, the pituitary gland releases more TSH to tell the thyroid gland to produce more thyroid hormones.  If T3 and T4 levels are high, the pituitary gland releases less TSH to the thyroid gland to slow production of these hormones.  The thyroid cells take up iodine with and are able to store it up in great quantities.  T3 and T4 travel in your bloodstream to reach almost every cell in the body. The hormones regulate the speed with which the cells/metabolism work. For example, T3 and T4 regulate your heart rate and how fast your intestines process food. So if T3 and T4 levels are low, your heart rate may be slower than normal, and you may have constipation/weight gain. If T3 and T4 levels are high, you may have a rapid heart rate and diarrhea/weight loss.

QUOTE FOR WEEKEND:

“Approximately 150,000 children are born every year in the United States affected by one or more birth defects. Although the cause of over 60% of birth defects are not known, there are things that you can do to help ensure optimal health for your baby.”

Americanpregnancy.org

Birth defects and how to prevent it!

birthdefectsbirth defect3

Health care providers are encouraged to provide women to plan for pregnancy; avoid harmful substances, like tobacco (2) and alcohol (3); and choose a healthy lifestyle, like eating a healthy diet (4), to increase their chances of a healthy pregnancy. Health care providers also discuss with women any medications they might be taking, both prescription and over-the-counter, to ensure they are taking only what is necessary. If yours is not maybe you need a new one. Prevention is the key to giving highier odds the baby will be healthier when born. Re-enforcement is a great tool and that’s where the medical profession comes into play with pregnant women who is their clientele.

Know that not all birth defects can be prevented. But, we also know that women can increase their chances of having a healthy baby by managing health conditions and adopting healthy behaviors before becoming pregnant. Make a commitment to yourself, to get healthy before and during pregnancy by actively trying to plan ahead, avoid harmful substances, choose a healthy lifestyle, and talk with your healthcare provider. There are some that can be prevented.

1.Plan ahead.

Get 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day.
Folic acid is a B vitamin. If a woman has enough folic acid in her body at least one month before and during pregnancy, it can help prevent major birth defects of the developing brain and spine defects like anencephaly or spina bifida.
Anencephaly is a serious birth defect in which a baby is born without parts of the brain and skull. It is a type of neural tube defect (NTD). As the neural tube forms and closes, it helps form the baby’s brain and skull (upper part of the neural tube), spinal cord, and back bones (lower part of the neural tube). Spina bifida is a condition that affects the spine and is usually apparent at birth. It is a type of neural tube defect (NTD). Spina bifida can happen anywhere along the spine if the neural tube does not close all the way. The backbone that protects the spinal cord does not form and close as it should. This often results in damage to the spinal cord and nerves. Spina bifida might cause physical and intellectual disabilities that range from mild to severe. The severity depends on:

  • The size and location of the opening in the spine.
  • Whether part of the spinal cord and nerves are affected.
  • There are 3 types and they are: 1-Myelomeningocele, 2-Meningocele, and 3-Spina Bifida Occulta.
  • 1-Myelomeningocele is the most serious type of spina bifida. With this condition, a sac of fluid comes through an opening in the baby’s back. Part of the spinal cord and nerves are in this sac and are damaged. This type of spina bifida causes moderate to severe disabilities, such as problems affecting how the person goes to the bathroom, loss of feeling in the person’s legs or feet, and not being able to move the legs.

2-Meninocele is a sac of fluid comes through an opening in the baby’s back. But, the spinal cord is not in this sac. There is usually little or no nerve damage. This type of spina bifida can cause minor disabilities.

3-Spina bifida occulta is the mildest type of spina bifida. It is sometimes called “hidden” spina bifida. With it, there is a small gap in the spine, but no opening or sac on the back. The spinal cord and the nerves usually are normal. Many times, spina bifida occulta is not discovered until late childhood or adulthood. This type of spina bifida usually does not cause any disabilities.

    • Women can get folic acid from fortified foods or supplements, or a combination of the two, in addition to a varied diet rich in folate.
    • See a healthcare professional regularly.
      A woman should be sure to see her doctor when planning a pregnancy and start prenatal care as soon as she thinks that she is pregnant. It is important to see the doctor regularly throughout pregnancy, so a woman should keep all her prenatal care appointments. If you are trying to have a baby or are just thinking about it, it is not too early to start getting ready for pregnancy. Use these checklists to help you write down your goals and have them in a place that you reinforce yourself to maintain them as best as possible for your child’s sake and your own sake as well.

2.Avoid harmful substances.

  • Avoid alcohol at any time during pregnancy.Alcohol in a woman’s bloodstream passes to the developing baby through the umbilical cord. There is no known safe amount of alcohol use during pregnancy or while trying to get pregnant. There is also no safe time during pregnancy to drink. All types of alcohol are equally harmful, including wine and beer. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and a range of lifelong physical, behavioral, and These disabilities in the child, which occur because the mother drank alcohol during the pregnancy, are known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). The best advice for women is to stop drinking alcohol when trying to get pregnant.
  • Avoid smoking cigarettes.

The dangers of smoking during pregnancy include preterm birth, certain birth defects from cleft lip or cleft palate to even infant death and more diseases inherited by mom through smoking. Even being around tobacco smoke puts a woman and her pregnancy at risk for problems. Quitting smoking before getting pregnant is best. For a woman who is already pregnant, quitting as early as possible can still help protect against some health problems for the baby, such as low birth weight. It’s never too late to quit smoking.

  • Avoid marijuana and other “street drugs”.

A woman who uses marijuana or other “street” drugs during pregnancy can have a baby who is born preterm, of low birth weight, or has other health problems, such as birth defects. Marijuana is the illicit drug most commonly used during pregnancy. Since we know of no safe level of marijuana use during pregnancy, women who are pregnant, or considering becoming pregnant, should not use marijuana, even in states where marijuana is legal. Women using marijuana for medical reasons should speak with their doctor about an alternative therapy with pregnancy-specific safety data.

  • Prevent infections.

Some infections that a woman can get during pregnancy can be harmful to the developing baby and can even cause birth defects. Some easy steps to prevent infections include frequent hand-washing, cooking meat until its well done, and staying away from people who have an infection.

3.Choose a healthy lifestyle.

  • Keep diabetes under control.

Poor control of diabetes during pregnancy increases the chances for birth defects and other problems for the pregnancy. It can also cause serious complications for the woman. Proper healthcare before and during pregnancy can help prevent birth defects and other poor outcomes. 

  • Strive to reach and maintain a healthy weight.

Do you know your body mass index (BMI)? Calculate it. Where? Just look it up on the internet anywhere for free.

A woman who is obese (a Body Mass Index of 30 or higher) before pregnancy is at a higher risk for complications during pregnancy. Obesity also increases a pregnant woman’s risk of several serious birth defects. Even if a woman is not actively planning a pregnancy, getting healthy can help boost her health and her mood. If a woman is overweight or obese, she should talk with her doctor about ways to reach a healthy weight before she gets pregnant.

4.Talk with your healthcare provider.

  • Talk to a healthcare provider about taking any medications.

We know that certain medications can cause serious birth defects if they are taken during pregnancy. For many medications taken by pregnant women, the safety has been difficult to determine. Despite the limited safety data, some medications are needed to treat serious conditions. If a woman is pregnant or planning a pregnancy, she should not stop taking medications she needs or begin taking new medications without first talking with her healthcare provider. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medications and dietary or herbal products.

  • Talk to a healthcare provider about vaccinations (shots).

Most vaccinations are safe during pregnancy and some vaccinations, such as the flu vaccine and the Tdap vaccine (adult tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis vaccine), are specifically recommended during pregnancy. Some vaccines protect women against infections that can cause birth defects. Having the right vaccinations at the right time can help keep a woman and her baby healthy. She should talk to her doctor about which vaccines are recommended for her during pregnancy.

 

QUOTE FOR FRIDAY:

“Folic acid is B vitamin that every cell in your body needs for normal growth and development.  Taking folic acid before and during early pregnancy can help prevent neural tube defects in your baby. Before pregnancy, take a multivitamin that has 400 micrograms (also called mcg) of folic acid in it every day.  During pregnancy, take a prenatal vitamin that has 600 mcg of folic acid in it every day.  Take a multivitamin with folic acid every day, even if you’re not trying to get pregnant.”

 MarchofDimes

Folic Acid Awareness Month is January

National Folic Acid Awareness Month, which was in the beginning of this month!   January 10–16, 2016, was National Folic Acid Awareness Week but for those who may have missed the info on it don’t fret striveforgoodhealth  is covering Folic acid today and its especially important to women who might become pregnant, as it can help prevent serious birth defects of the brain, neck and spine. Recent studies suggest that it can also help lower the risk of neural tube defects and orofacial clefts (cleft lip and palate). Notably, folic acid has been shown to lower the risk of anencephaly (the absence of a large part of the brain and skull) and spina bifida (an opening in the spinal column) by 50 to 70%.

Much of the baby’s growth and development happens very early in pregnancy, even before most women know they’re pregnant. Experts estimate that women need to start taking folic acid at least one month before they become pregnant for it to prevent birth defects, so it’s important to make folic acid-enriched foods and vitamins a part of your daily routine.

The benefits aren’t limited to your baby: your body needs folic acid, too. The acid helps to create healthy new cells in the body, from hair to nails to skin and blood cells. Without it, blood cells become unstable, and the body is susceptible to disease. The vitamin also protects your liver, allowing it to continue purifying your body. Folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin that your body cannot store, so it should be taken every day to replenish your body’s supply.

Many foods are now being fortified with more folic acid, such as grains, pastas and breakfast cereals. Check the nutritional facts label on your favorite products to see how much they contain. Many cereals now contain as much as 100% of the recommended daily value. Additionally, prenatal vitamins typically contain folic acid. If you’re not yet taking a prenatal vitamin, you can also look for multivitamins with added acid, or buy folic acid pills.

Birth defects are common, costly, and critical conditions that affect one in every 33 U.S. newborns annually. Women can reduce their risk of having a baby born with a birth defect by making healthy choices and adopting healthy habits before and during pregnancy.

Health care providers can encourage parents-to-be to make a PACT for birth defects prevention by taking the following steps: Planning ahead for pregnancy; Avoiding harmful substances like chemicals in the home or workplace (2); Choosing a healthy lifestyle, including eating a healthy diet (3); and Talking with their health care provider before and during pregnancy, particularly about medication use.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages health care providers to become active participants in National Birth Defects Prevention Month by joining the nationwide effort to raise awareness of birth defects, their causes, and their impact.

CDC urges all women of childbearing age who can become pregnant to get 400 µg of folic acid every day to help reduce the risk for neural tube defects. Health care providers should encourage women of childbearing age to consume folic acid in fortified foods or supplements, or a combination of the two, in addition to a diet rich in folate CDC urges all women of childbearing age who can become pregnant to get 400 µg of folic acid every day to help reduce the risk for neural tube defects. Health care providers should encourage women of childbearing age to consume folic acid in fortified foods or supplements, or a combination of the two, in addition to a diet rich in folate.

An easy way to be sure you’re getting enough folic acid is to take a daily multivitamin with folic acid in it. Most multivitamins have all the folic acid you need. If you get an upset stomach from taking a multivitamin, try taking it with meals or just before bed. If you have trouble taking pills, you can try a multivitamin that is gummy or chewable. Also be sure to take it with a full glass of water.

Folic acid has been added to foods such as enriched breads, pastas, rice and cereals. Check the Nutrition Facts label on the food packaging. A serving of some cereals has 100% of the folic acid that you need each day.

In addition to getting 400 mcg of folic acid from supplements and fortified foods, you can eat a diet rich in folate. You can get food folate from beans, peas and lentils, oranges and orange juice, asparagus and broccoli, and dark leafy green vegetables such as spinach, and mustard greens.

 

Nutritional habits

Although all enriched cereals and grain products in the U.S. are fortified with the B-vitamin folic acid, only one-third of U.S. women of childbearing age consume the recommended amount from their diet. Taking a multivitamin with folic acid every day is a key way that women can get the recommended amount of 400 mcg.

Be prepared before pregnancy

Women need folic acid, even if not planning to become pregnant, since 50% of all pregnancies are unplanned. Taking folic acid before pregnancy reduces the risk of birth defects of the brain and spine, called neural tube defects (NTDs), by up to 70%.

Message to the Hispanic community

Hispanic babies are 1.5 to 2 times more likely than others in the U.S. to be born with an NTD. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that Latinas in the U.S. consume the least amount of folic acid and have the least knowledge about folic acid among racial or ethnic groups.

 

 

 

QUOTE FOR THURSDAY:

“There are effective measures that can be taken to prevent concussions during winter sports activities. Concussions should be taken seriously because they can result to long-term and permanent health issues.   Here are simple tips for preventing head injuries when participating in winter sports: 1-Wear approved, properly fitted and well-maintained safety equipment like helmets.  2-Stipulate safety rules like no direct hits to the head or other dangerous play.  3-Encourage safe playing techniques and encourage individuals to strictly follow rules of play during winter sports activities.”

ConsumerHealthDigest

Part II One of the health topics in January is “Total Brain Injury (TBI) related to winter sports.”

  xte head tackle CTE5

CTE 5 cte hockey

CTE7 CTE 6

CTE6 CTE9

 

Part II reviews Concussion-The symptoms/grade levels/diagnostic tooling with treatment and  CTE=Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

 The signs and symptoms you may see indicating a concussion aren’t immediately present where in other situations observed immediately; it depends on the impact of the hit to the brain and location. Concussions are fairly common. Some estimates say a mild brain trauma is sustained every 21 seconds in the U.S. But it’s important to recognize the signs of a concussion so you can take the proper steps to treat the injury.

There are some common physical, mental, and emotional symptoms a person may display following a concussion. Any of these could be a sign of traumatic brain injury: confusion or feeling dazed/clumsiness/slurred speech/nausea or vomiting /headache /balance problems or dizziness /blurred vision/sensitivity to light/sensitivity to noise/sluggishness/Tinnitis – ringing in the ears/behavior or personality changes/concentration difficulties/memory loss.

Concussions are graded as mild (grade 1), moderate (grade 2), or severe (grade 3), depending on such factors as loss of consciousness, amnesia, and loss of equilibrium.

-Grade 1 concussion symptoms last for less than 15 minutes. There is no loss of consciousness.

-Grade 2 concussion there is no loss of consciousness but symptoms last longer than 15 minutes.

-Grade 3 concussion the person loses consciousness, sometimes just for a few seconds.

The seriousness of a concussion dictates what kind of treatment you should get. Most people with concussions fully recover with appropriate treatment. But because a concussion can be serious, safeguarding the person who got the concussion is important.   Seek medical attention. A health care professional can decide how serious the concussion is and whether you require treatment or not.

If you have suffered a grade 1 or grade 2 concussion, wait until symptoms are gone before returning to normal activities. That could take several minutes, hours, days, or even a week but still see a MD to know the level for sure.

If you have sustained a grade 1,2, or 3 concussion, see a doctor immediately for observation and treatment since most people don’t know the different levels or what level they have had. A doctor will be able to tell all through diagnostic tooling.  The M.D. will need to know details about how the concussion even happened including the symptoms you or the patient is having.   The doctor asks simple common questions to evaluate memory and concentration skills (your name, the present year, where you are, etc…).

REGARDING DIAGNOSTIC TOOLING:

The doctor may test coordination and reflexes, which are both functions of the central nervous system. The doctor may also order a CT scan or an MRI to rule out bleeding or other serious brain injury especially if he feels it was a grade 3 concussion.

If hospitalization is not required, the doctor will provide instructions for recovery. Aspirin-free medications may be prescribed and you will be advised to take it easy. Experts recommend follow-up medical attention within 24 to 72 hours if symptoms worsen.

  • Take a break. If your concussion was sustained during athletic activity, stop play and sit it out. Your brain needs time to properly heal, so rest is key. Definitely do not resume play the same day. Athletes and children should be closely monitored by coaches upon resuming play. If you resume play too soon, you risk a greater chance of having a second concussion, which can compound the damage. The American Academy of Neurology has issued guidelines about resuming activities after a concussion.
  • Guard against repeat concussions. Repeat concussions cause cumulative effects on the brain. Successive concussions can have devastating consequences, including brain swelling, permanent brain damage, long-term disabilities, or even death. Don’t return to normal activities if you still have symptoms. Get a doctor’s clearance so you can return to work or play with confidence.

Can I Prevent a Concussion?

NO, since normally a concussion is unexpected, so it is tough to prevent. But there are several common-sense precautions you can take to lessen the possibility of traumatic brain injury.  What you can do is PREVENTION by wearing proper protective equipment in high contact sports from football to hockey to boxing and even soccer (all increase the chance of a concussion).  Bicycling, skateboarding, horseback riding to roller blading all can be a threat of a concussion due to a fall to the head.  Wear head gear, padded guards for knees/elbows and even mouth gear or eye guards especially in racquet ball.  Believe it or not a bike helmet can lower the risk of traumatic head injury by 85%. Ensure that the equipment is properly fitted, well maintained, and worn consistently.

For athletes and non athletes, always wear a seatbelt, obey posted speed limits, and don’t use drugs or alcohol, don’t be foolish texting or using the cell phone while driving because they can impair reaction time. Obviously, don’t fight to cause a blow to your head from occuring, and more males than females report traumatic head injuries.

Look what can happen after repeated blows done to the head over a long time – Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a form of encephalopathy that is a progressive degenerative disease, which can currently only be definitively diagnosed postmortem.  Let us look at the meaning of the word actually in medical terminology=Chronic (meaning over a period of a long time) Traumatic (meaning the blows to the head) Encephalopathy (swelling of the brain definitely is a part of what happens but in all types of encephalopathy there is a brain malfunction.  Know there are over 150 different terms that modify or precede “encephalopathy” in the medical literature.

In March 2014, researchers announced the discovery of an exosome particle created by the brain which has been shown to contain trace proteins indicating the presence of the disease  Baseline testing has been created to assess potential cognitive impairment in athletes in contact sports, but a test to determine the presence of CTE while the person is alive and a conventional postmortem diagnosis is not yet available.

The disease was previously called dementia pugilistica (DP), i.e. “punch-drunk”, as it was initially found in those with a history of boxing. CTE has been most commonly found in professional athletes participating in American football, Association football, ice hockey, professional wrestling and other contact sports who have experienced repetitive brain trauma. It has also been found in soldiers exposed to a blast or a concussive injury, in both cases resulting in characteristic degeneration of brain tissue and the accumulation of tau protein. Individuals with CTE may show symptoms of dementia, such as memory loss, aggression, confusion and depression, which generally appear years or many decades after the trauma.

CTE is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in people with a history of repetitive brain trauma, including symptomatic concussions as well as sub-concussive hits to the head that do not cause symptoms. In the case of blast injury, a single exposure to a blast and the subsequent violent movement of the head in the blast wind can cause the condition.  Look at the perfect example of who this happened to that most of Americans know or heard about what the famous boxer Muhammed Ali.

Unfortunately chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) at this time can only be diagnosed 100% after death. Below is a list of confirmed cases of CTE and the breakdown by sport. It should be noted that this is a small list compared to doctors understanding of the problem of CTE and the many undiagnosed cases. Through the work of the Center of the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy researchers have been successful in securing donations of professional athletes brains after death for further study so researchers can better understand CTE and how to better prevent it. Many on this list were identified this way.

Professional Football Players:

  • John Grimsley – Houston Oilers, Miami Dolphins – February 2008 (45) – Case Study
  • Chris Henry – Cincinnati Bengals – December 2009
  • Dave Duerson – Chicago Bears – Suicide – February 17th, 2011 (50)
  • Lew Carpenter – Detroit Lions, Clevelend Browns, Green Bay Packers – November 14th, 2010 (78)
  • Lou Creekmur – Detroit Lions (NFL Hall of Fame) – July 5th, 2009 (82) – Case Study
  • Shane Dronett – Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons – January 12, 1971 Floyd Patterson

Professional Boxers:

Bobby Chacon/Jerry Quarry/Mike Quarry/Wilfred Benitez/Emile Griffith/Willie Pep/Sugar Ray Robinson/Billy Conn/Joe Frazier/Muhammad Ali (suspected)

How many non professionals have been injured due to TBI’s  with not any better.  We know now and are taking action in awareness to the public to decrease the occurrences of these brain injuries from happening!  Help the community with awareness too!!

If you notice in most of my articles there is a key to prevention in getting a illness or disease.  Start taking the step towards prevention and not waiting till it happens especially CTE since the symptoms tell the M.D. the patient has high probability of the disease but can’t be actually 100% diagnosed till death in the morgue.

SO TAKE THE STEP IN MAKING A CONCUSSION NOT HAPPEN=PREVENTION, it is so simple.  Which decreases the chance of dementia, memory loss, depression from repeated blows to the head. PROTECT YOURSELF!

CTE 3

 

 

 

QUOTE FOR WEDNESDAY:

“Total Brian Injury (TBI) is a quiet crisis. As many as 3.2 million Americans are living with a permanent disability resulting from a brain injury. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 1.7 million Americans sustain a traumatic brain injury each year. Fifty-two thousand people die from it. Almost a quarter-million people are hospitalized.”

BrainLine.org (All about Brain Injury and PTSD)

Part I One of the health awareness topics in January is “Total Brain Injury (TBI) in regards to Winter Sports”.

BRAIN INJURY IMAGE   brain Lobe Regions

concussion 3a concussion 2

BRAIN INJURY IMAGE 2concussion 1

The NFL now even takes action.  Through Winter Sports TBI Awareness Month, The Johnny OTM Foundation (Johnny O) is hoping to raise awareness regarding the health risks athletes face when they participate in winter sports, specifically traumatic brain injuries and concussions. January is a great time to put a spotlight on winter sports safety and preventive measures athlete can take to avoid TBIs and concussions.

                               

The mission of Johnny O “is to educate the American public to the growing seriousness of Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Traumatic Brain Injuries in the American population by raising the necessary donations through strategic research initiatives and heightened public awareness to accomplish our objectives.”1 Winter Sports TBI Awareness Month is one of many initiatives Johnny O is undertaking to not only raise public awareness, but also improve safety and reduce TBIs in Americans of all ages.

 

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that alters the way your brain functions. Effects are usually temporary but can include headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance and coordination.

Although concussions usually are caused by a blow to the head, they can also occur when the head and upper body are violently shaken. These injuries can cause a loss of consciousness, but most concussions do not. Because of this, some people have concussions and don’t realize it.

Concussions are common, particularly if you play a contact sport, such as football. But every concussion injures your brain to some extent. This injury needs time and rest to heal properly. Most concussive traumatic brain injuries are mild, and people usually recover fully.

 

******Remember the key to a brain concussion fully recovering is not to have impact to the head happening over and over again.  Based on the same concept if you get hit in the same spot over and over again anywhere in the body bruising to actual injury will happen whether it be muscle or bone.  Well get hit in the head over and over again like in sports especially boxing but now the big conversation with football even with a helmet on you will cause a permanent damage to the brain.   A perfect example of this is a boxer that gets hit over an over again to the head in a boxing ring.   The head is just another area of the body and no different than other areas of our body.

 

What actually happens is the concussion is most often caused by a sudden direct blow or bump to the head.  The brain is made of soft tissue. It’s cushioned by spinal fluid and encased in the protective shell of the skull. When you sustain a concussion, the impact can jolt your brain. Sometimes, it literally causes it to move around in your head. Traumatic brain injuries can cause bruising, damage to the blood vessels, and injury to the nerves.

concussion 5concussion 4

 

The result? Your brain doesn’t function normally. If you’ve suffered a concussion, vision may be disturbed, you may lose equilibrium, or you may fall unconscious. In short, the brain is confused. That’s why Bugs Bunny often saw stars after getting whacked in the head in his cartoon by some other character.

 

 

The new uptake with football is being concerned with players getting concussions from getting hit by their opponent players whether it be defense or offense while playing the game. Concussions have become big business in the football world. With 1,700 players in the NFL, 66,000 in the college game, 1.1 million in high school and 250,000 more in Pop Warner, athletes and families across the country are eager to find ways to cut the risks of brain injury, whose terrifying consequences regularly tear across the sports pages. And a wave of companies offering diagnostic tools and concussion treatments are just as eager to sell them peace of mind.

 

That’s actually a slogan for one company.   ImPACT, the maker of the world’s most popular concussion evaluation system, offers a 20-minute computerized test that players can take via software or online to measure verbal and visual memory, processing speed, reaction time and impulse control.  The idea behind ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) and similar batteries is that doctors or athletic trainers can give a baseline test to a healthy athlete, conduct follow-up tests after an injury and then compare the results to help figure out when it’s OK to return the athlete to play. Selling itself as “Valid. Reliable. Safe,” ImPACT dominates the testing market and has spread throughout the sports world: Most NFL clubs use the test, as do all MLB, MLS and NHL clubs, the national associations for boxing, hockey and soccer in the U.S., and nine auto racing circuits.

                                                                                                                                       

A total of 87 out of 91 former NFL players have tested positive for the brain disease at the center of the debate over concussions in football, according to new figures from the nation’s largest brain bank focused on the study of traumatic head injury.

 

Researchers with the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University have now identified the degenerative disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in 96 percent of NFL players that they’ve examined and in 79 percent of all football players. The disease is widely believed to stem from repetitive trauma to the head, and can lead to conditions such as memory loss, depression and dementia.

 

In total, the lab has found CTE in the brain tissue in 131 out of 165 individuals who, before their deaths, played football either professionally, semi-professionally, in college or in high school.

Forty percent of those who tested positive were the offensive and defensive linemen who come into contact with one another on every play of a game, according to numbers shared by the brain bank with FRONTLINE. That finding supports past research suggesting that it’s the repeat, more minor head trauma that occurs regularly in football that may pose the greatest risk to players, as opposed to just the sometimes violent collisions that cause concussions.

 

But the figures come with several important caveats, as testing for the disease can be an imperfect process. Brain scans have been used to identify signs of CTE in living players, but the disease can only be definitively identified posthumously. As such, many of the players who have donated their brains for testing suspected that they had the disease while still alive, leaving researchers with a skewed population to work with.

 

Even with those caveats, the latest numbers are “remarkably consistent” with past research from the center suggesting a link between football and long-term brain disease, said Dr. Ann McKee, the facility’s director and chief of neuropathology at the VA Boston Healthcare System.

“People think that we’re blowing this out of proportion, that this is a very rare disease and that we’re sensationalizing it,” said McKee, who runs the lab as part of a collaboration between the VA and BU. “My response is that where I sit, this is a very real disease. We have had no problem identifying it in hundreds of players.”

 

In a statement, a spokesman for the NFL said, “We are dedicated to making football safer and continue to take steps to protect players, including rule changes, advanced sideline technology, and expanded medical resources. We continue to make significant investments in independent research through our gifts to Boston University, the [National Institutes of Health] and other efforts to accelerate the science and understanding of these issues.”

 

The latest update from the brain bank, which in 2010 received a $1 million research grant from the NFL, comes at a time when the league is able to boast measurable progress in reducing head injuries. In its 2015 Health & Safety Report, the NFL said that concussions in regular season games fell 35 percent over the past two seasons, from 173 in 2012 to 112 last season. A separate analysis by FRONTLINE that factors in concussions reported by teams during the preseason and the playoffs shows a smaller decrease of 28 percent.