Opening Christmas Day “in a theater near” the movie starring Will Smith, Philadelphia native, “Concussion” will deal with the issue of significant long term brain damage among America’s most popular sport: Football. The story is based on the accomplished Pittsburgh pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu who tries to uncover the truth about brain damage in football players who suffer repeated concussions in the course of normal play.
Like other ground breaking movies this year (see my post on “Spotlight” the story based on the Boston Globe’s exposure of clergy sexual abuse in Boston during the 2000’s), this movie is likely to inspire alot of discussion of trauma brain injury in athletes, but also raise awareness of the potential long term danger to children who suffer repeated concussions playing a number of different sports over a number of years.
In an August 25, 2015 column in the New York Times Science Section, Personal Health writer Jane E. Brody warns that there is good reason to worry. According to studies the young brain is especially susceptible to concussion, and sports related concussions account for more than half of all emergency room visits. This has many parents questioning the wisdom of letting children play certain contact sports. [Read more…]