Nowadays, concussion occurs so often in many sports, such as football, cycling, baseball, basketball, and water sports, etc. It would be great if its negative impact to the brain is reduced by increasing its occurrence. Unfortunately, we can’t “adapt” to concussion and recover faster by increasing its occurrence.
It’s actually the opposite!
Therefore, the coaches need to understand about the concussion and its impact to the brain in order to help the players realize the importance of concussion and to provide the safe and healthy environment.
Concussion is not just something that will go away in one week, or “I will be fine”. The level of brain damage depends on the severity of one concussion and the frequency of having concussion.
One study involving the concussion center at NYU discovered the brain atrophy (shrink) after one concussion, meaning that many neurons are damaged and died. Abnormally ion flux is present, leading to inappropriate releasing of excitatory neurotransmitter and initiating the depolarization. This can affect negatively to our emotion. Problems such as anxiety and depression are at risk of developing.
In addition, the concussion can cause hyperglycosis and lactate accumulation as well as impaired oxidative metabolism. This condition is very bad for our cells, because the cells become acidic from lactase, leading to brain damage, and cell apoptosis (death).
Repeating experience concussion can also develop high risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disease. Some cases can lead to death when the individual have second impact syndrome. This syndrome generally is a second concussion that occurs when the first concussion hasn’t resolved (recovered) yet. Although this syndrome is rare, football players are eight-time higher of having it.
Then, the recovering is absolutely important after the concussion. It can reduce or prevent the risk of developing the neurodegenerative diseases, or even death. During the recovering process, the individual need to rest and recover their brain without rushing through the process. Their brain is required some time to heal. Therefore, avoid studying, learning, thinking hard, and anything that can trigger the concussion’s symptoms (such as bright light). In addition, they should take more short naps when the brain is tired. Finally, omega 3 fatty acid is suggested as the treatment for concussion. It aids the recovering process and limits the damage done to axons as well as preventing the apoptosis of neurons.