Wednesday, October 9, 2013

FRONTLINE: CTE/Concussion Issue 8/8/13

FRONTLINE:  CTE/Concussion Issue
The Brain Is Precious Cargo

What an interesting piece!  While the NFL, and football, has been the main focus in the media, CTE & the concussion issue applies to so many areas of life and sports.  Denial isn't, and has never been, the way to look at things that are unpleasant or that mean change.  Change is part of life.

"The brain is precious cargo" was a quote that resonated with me.  I've always felt that way, but then, I have had a lifelong awareness of my brain, and that of others, that wasn't like most people's.  That awareness comes from a life of having to be hyper aware of my brain, it isn't something most people give a second thought to.  That is why I don't think that a lot of parents, coaches and kids appreciate the potential damage that can be caused by these sports that have become such a part of communities--like football, soccer, etc.  Even if a soccer player 'heads' the ball on the 'sweet spot' of the head, it is known to cause temporary (& potentially permanent) brain damage.

Those doctors who commit themselves to brain research are great heroes.  Everything about the brain is unique and facinating, IMO.  I'm not talking about finding a 'cure' for hydrocephalus research, I'm talking about finding out about how the brain works and how damaged brains got that way.  It is pretty obvious that the 'cure' here is simply not putting the brain into these situations, although we all know that there are going to be those who are insistant upon doing it, no matter what.  I don't think that, as I said before, prior to the damage that they would truly appreciate what was being told to them by those who have been through it first hand, or as a parent, child or spouse.

These two hours just scratched the surface of this story.  There is SO much more to be discovered in the future through research, like Dr. Ann McKee & the Boston University CTE Center are doing.  Personally, I've thought seriously about leaving my brain and spine to science so they can find out more about my type of hydrocephalus.  Wish I could be there for the results!

I was also taken by the mistaken diagnosis of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's with CTE, which has also been the case for Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH).  NPH can be treated successfully if there is an early diagnosis. 

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