New study on concussions as a health research topic

Even if the Super Bowl hadn’t just happened, concussions have been a big news topic in the last several years. A recent study from Georgetown has revealed new insights into how the brain can better heal, but many are still questioning if the possibility of incurring these sports injuries are even worth playing sports, particularly when it comes to younger athletes.

Effects of concussions on the brain. (Credit: MIC.com)

Effects of concussions on the brain. (Credit: MIC.com)

Research paper topics could explore potential safety solutions, as well as the health ramifications of concussions in athletes of any age.

New study on concussions

Research paper ideas on how to help people after concussions and other sports injuries abound. The latest idea to explore comes from a new study out of Georgetown University Medical Center that showed how important rest was in preventing permanent brain damage from concussions.

New research shows why rest after a concussion is critical” by Brooks Hays on February 5, 2016, for upi.com shared the results of a study on mice. Hays wrote, “Mice that were allowed a week of recovery in between each concussion experienced recovery and neural restorative patterns in line with the baseline. For these mice, all neuronal connections were restored with three days of rest.”

Mice that did not receive the same rest period showed inflammation and cell death after repeated concussions with no recovery times in between. With time and rest, the brain often can recover, according to the study. Unfortunately, the study also showed that the brain is less likely to repair itself after frequent concussions. 

Beyond football

Much of the discussion around concussions in athletes has centered on pro football players. But unfortunately, they are not the only professional athletes that have been affected by these sports injuries. Scott Burnside posted “Concussion lawsuit against NHL grows” on February 3, 2016, for ESPN.com with how hockey players have been affected.

About 115 NHL players and a NHL referee “have joined a lawsuit claiming the league was negligent in informing them about the dangers of concussions and concussion-related injuries,” Burnside wrote. Players suing range from having played in only two pro hockey games to more than 400.

Preventing sports injuries

Concussions and sports injuries have become a hot topic in all sports and at all levels, despite the controversy starting with pro football. More and more parents of younger athletes are expressing concern about the potential for concussions in their children. With the growing awareness has come a growth in reporting of concussions according to “Health Advocates Working to Prevent Athlete Concussions: Student, Professional Players at Risk” by Lindsey Wahowiak in the October 2015 issue of The Nation’s Health. Wahowiak quoted a 2010 CDC statistic that found “traumatic brain injury, whether mild or severe, caused about 2.5 million emergency department visits, hospitalizations or deaths.”

Despite all the attention that concussions have garnered in the last few years, there is still a great deal of research to be done on the topic. We do not yet know which kind of concussions lead to certain problems later in life, such as Alzheimer’s disease or depression. Several groups are trying to educate parents and coaches about the signs and risks of concussions in non-professional athletes.

There are many areas to examine in a research paper about concussions and sports injuries from the role athletics plays in our society for a sociology class to the most effective recovery techniques for a class in sports medicine to the pending legislative fixes for a political science paper.

Want to learn more about health and medicine? Check out Questia—particularly the section traumatic brain injury

Do you think sports injuries, such as concussions, are worth it, or should our society rethink its love affair with contact sports? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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