Brain injury in sports
It is not unknown that the sport football has been practiced for many years. From small to large trains several times a week and plays competitions. Goals are made in different ways, but also a jump in the air, a duel where the heads of players often bump into each other, the ball that is shot so hard and can also hit the head and where you can get a concussion and then the head of the ball what one still often does is also what happens in football. And there was attention to that a while ago. For the umpteenth time. Is the heads of the ball wise to do and maybe we shouldn't avoid the heads of the ball?? Doctors of the UMC from Amsterdam rang the bell in October last year and asked attention to it. This is a result of studies that have shown that the head of the ball can potentially cause brain injury, including older dementia. Many hundreds of old top football players at home and abroad seem to be struggling with brain disease CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy). It's not the first time the bell has been pulled. Erik Matser, neuropsychologist did this already in the nineties.
It is a subject that has been underexposed for far too long, and whenever only a little attention was asked to be paid to it by doctors, scientists and relatives of victims, the subject of brain injury was pushed to the head. One should not talk about it or start on this subject and denouncing signals seemed to be out of the question, because especially sports federations did not want to. To what extent is that harmful to the football cubs? You don't want to have a term brain injury attached to you as a football club. The KNVB says that if you head the ball correctly, you won't be able to get a brain injury. The doctors from the AMC dispute this and discussed it with the KNVB. Since 2018, there is a special KNVB poli in the AMC where athletes can keep complaints after concussion. At this clinic we are working on recovery, but research is also being carried out into the various forms of concussions and how these complaints manifest themselves. From the sports boxing and rugby we know the stories that athletes who have had to take because of the many blows to the head they have caused brain damage and in the longer term caused dementia.
Yet you are now seeing small steps that are being taken to investigate and take seriously this problem of brain injury, including concussions and CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy). For example, at the 2022 World Cup in Quatar there will be “brain injury spotters” in the gallery. Their task is to signal brain injury among players. Teamdoctors on the sidelines sometimes overlook brain injury. After all, it is busy on such a sideline. A brain injury spotter can then give a warning from the stand to the team doctor if there is an event of brain injury. There will also be opportunities in the dug-out for the team doctors to see a situation where possible brain injury, such as a concussion occurs they can look back for assessment. Brain injury spotters have been in the stands for years in American Football and Ice Hockey sports.
What happens in your brain after a blow to your head?
Why is one now so attentive to it rather not want to head with your head at sports football?
Research has shown that the so-called protein Tau that is produced in the brain cells and connects the nerve cells together ensures stability of the nerves and transport of substances. If this is disturbed by hard blows, the protein accumulates and disrupts the connection between the nerve cells.
Due to that disturbed connection, impulses are no longer given, as a result of which the death of brain cells occurs. This is expressed in all sorts of complaints, such as influence on our thinking performance, poor concentration, sluggishness and you become forgetful. We often notice these kinds of complaints only when we get older and can even cause dementia. Millions of people are affected annually by PCS (Postcommotional Syndrome), or residual damage after concussion. If you do not map and deal with the residual damage on time, certain complaints will be permanent. When an athlete gets a brain injury during a match, they often feel dizzy, suffer from headaches and nausea for a few days and then continue training and playing competitions. The question is whether that is wise and whether you should not guide those athletes much longer. I recognize this situation with my own son who, after a fall down a staircase, initially suffered a concussion and also had these complaints and a lot of vomiting, but the complaints persisted and there was no guidance at that time.. It had to pass by itself was then said by the general practitioner. Until I explained to a pediatrician on my own initiative a month later what was going on and then, after a waiting list of 4 months, a rehabilitation course was started. The accident happened in April and in September was only the first intake interview. As a parent, I plead for previous guidance, but also earlier forwarding when signaling to the hospital. He lay there for an overnight check, but did not go through the CT scan, while the GP suggested that, given the number of vomiting and drowning. He also had been unconscious for several minutes. You can read the whole story in the blog at the bottom of this post.
Why is one not heard?
But why is one not heard and it takes so long to take action? The studies in the nineties came despite the fact that Erik Matser, neuropsychologist who worked among others at the professional clubs Chelsea and Swansea and who in the USA and in the Netherlands was the first to call the bell stopped by sports associations and there was nothing with these scientific research. done. Dick Swaab, neurobiologist and Dutch doctor supported him in those years. For example, Dick Swaab noticed that people often do not notice that a ball already has a tremendous speed and so at that speed ends up on the player's head. The Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York also came to the same conclusion with the studies. Unfortunately, sports federations stopped this for years. In any case, it did not lead to the solution to quickly map PCS and if that had been started earlier one could have guided many athletes earlier to reduce their complaints. However, Erik Matser got right from UEFA last year. Heads seem to have an impact, and UEFA indicates that children should head less. For example, measures are being taken in Scotland, England and Northern Ireland to stop children under the age of 12 from training.. And more attention should be paid to the neck muscles to strengthen. Matser met FIFA last year to propose to establish an independent institute of sports neurology. So not one from the FIFA itself, but independently. The KNVB sees this differently at that time and thinks that children should learn to head at an early age. Yet it is strange that this discussion keeps going, because in other sports, such as hockey, skiing, cycling, helmets have been worn for years. A football goalkeeper would actually be better off wearing a helmet. Recently, the NRC wrote another news article about the whole case of brain injury sustained in the sports world. The NRC investigated the abuses that have taken place within the sports federations, that scientists were put aside and many harrowing stories of relatives of former athletes who had to deal with CTE.
When you ask me, as a parent of a child, what I think now that you should avoid the head of the ball while playing football, I say “Yes, avoid!” Why I say that is because apart from the fact that I have a son with PCS (Postcommotional Syndrome) and NAH (Non-Congenital Brain Injury), it has always found an unhealthy thing. Your head is a fragile part of your body and when I saw regularly on the fields and on television how hard it went in duels, heads of the ball there was a concussion, but also a ball that came very hard against a child's head and knockout went. There were also times where I thought, “Do you have to let a child through football so soon after a blow to the head?” It's often just a wet sponge in the face and through again. Maybe it's because I look at brain injury differently.. Just to be clear, our son didn't climb NAH while playing football, but fell down a flight of stairs. At first it seemed like a concussion, but the complaints persisted and became worse. Before the fall down the stairs, he was on football. He was pretty good at it and had a lot of fun. Until the accident occurred from the fall of the stairs and he could not play football for a long time. Yet he returned to the fields, but because of his NAH he couldn't come in the game anymore. Rehabilitation trajectories took place in revaldation centers and football was discussed there too.. Physiotherapy had to help him to become more flexible in his movements and he learned again to deal with stimuli and to play in a team. But we also received a very important advice home and it has always stayed with me. Your son can't get a ball to his head and no more heads. Then until the news came out on this subject, I had never read anything. You just didn't think about it, but it was definitely a point of attention. So yes, I understand that that attention is being asked by doctors, scientists and relatives of victims. And that attention was actually asked thirty years ago by neuropsychologist Erik Matser. I am sorry, however, that something that has already been noted in the 1990s is that we are now only a few steps further by 2021. In that sense, I can well see Erik Matser's frustration. So why does it have to take so long before one becomes convinced that brain injury can have far-reaching consequences if you don't map it in time and put the guidance on it.. With this blog and also my other blog that you can read below I hope as a parent that I can carry a little bit to bring this topic to the attention. Unfortunately, it is far too often, well a concussion, but the question is why are there so many examples of people who get a PCS annually? I think that a blow to the head, either by a ball, heads against each other, a football shoe that hits your head and so on should always be seen seriously than more serious. So do not just wet sponge on the face and a sip of water, but take someone into protection and do not bring more into the field. And also at least a few weeks of rest and no training, nothing. As I told you, I experienced up close myself what PCS and NAH completely changed the life of a child, parents and environment. If you are curious about the story, read the blog below.
Read the experience story of a parent of a child with PCS and NAH.
There is also a nice handbook for children and young people with NAH.
Title: I still love apple pie
Want to read more blogs?
Click on the photo and you will be on my profile.
I appreciate it if you leave a comment on my blogs.
Sharing is sweet!
Read some general blogs here.