Concussion in Football

#1

Not sure where the best place is to put this. Guess its an international football issue so put it here but mods can move where is most appropriate.

In short 7676 professional footballers born from 1900 to 1976 were found to have 5x higher Alzheimer’s dementia risk, 4x higher motor neuron disease risk and 2x higher Parkinson’s disease risk. With the effects of chronic traumatic encephalopathy becoming more well known and rugby and cricket taking an increased focus on concussion, what can football do better?

#2

Do we even have a concussion framework? The NRL, while obviously dealing with many more cases, have one and are trying to improve their response to concussion incidents.

#3

I’ll read the study later but did they take into account other things outside football?
Footballers were big on the booze and smokes back then.

#4

I’m not sure of a framework, but the A League does have some protocols to follow. My facts may be a bit loose, but the way I understand it is that referees are instructed to stop play immediately for any perceived head injuries, and there a medical staff who access the player (do various tests) to determine if a concussion has occurred. If their conclusion is that one has, then the player has to be removed form the pitch and assessed further. Any player who has had a concussion then cannot play again within a set period (I think it is 6 days, but not sure).

#5

If Tim Cahill is anything to go by, I think there’s also a link to damaged speech patterns: slow, emotionless speech with no tone variance and a blank, dead expression.

4 Likes
#6

Wasn’t aware, cheers. Quite similar to the NRL procedure, I believe.

#7

I can’t open the link but is that the report on how heading the ball could be linked to future brain disease or is it just more serious concussions?

I read the heading report recently. The evidence doesn’t look strong enough (yet) to take action but it’s certainly suggestive of a larger effect than I would’ve imagined and warrants further research. I wouldn’t be too surprised to see it becoming a bigger issue in coming years.

#8

The anti-soccer Australian media have already ran a few stories recently about it. I’m sure they will want to scare mums into reconsidering their thought of soccer as being safer than Rugby or AFL.

#9

Could part of the solution involve changing the make up of the ball? The current balls travel faster than they ever have and apart from a water logged leather beast probably hit as hard as they ever have as well. Maybe making a ball with a thicker and softer layer of foam between the outer lining and the bladder could both reduce the velocity of the ball and also provide a better cushion when making contact with the player?