ISU researcher releases NFL concussions study

Jan 31, 2018

From the wives’ stories, Faure reports four trends: “husbands becoming unrecognizable, an emotional toll on wives and families, the husbands’ willingness to conceal concussions, and a disdain towards the NFL for a lack of support.”

ISU researcher releases NFL concussions study

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  1. Don Brady, PhD, PsyD, NCSP
    January 31st, 2018 at 1:03 pm #

    I strongly suggest that the current reported insightful research by Caroline Faure be read in conjunction with my 2004 Dissertation Research re Active & Retired NFL Players’ Knowledge of Concussions and the corresponding Commentary. My PhD research and Commentary are summarized below and a link to my ground breaking 2004 Dissertation research findings are summarized below for your convenience:

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/dissertation-abstract-don-brady-phd-psyd-ncsp-cas/

    Kind regards,

    Don Brady, PhD, PsyD, NCSP, CAS
    Licensed Clinical Psychologist

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    A Preliminary Investigation of Active and Retired NFL Players’ Knowledge of Concussions – 2004
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    The incidence of sports-related concussions occurring within the USA has been estimated to be approximately 300,000 per year [estimate has been significantly revised upward since this published date: 1.6 million to 3.7 million]. The preponderance of credible experimental and clinical evidence pertaining to the adverse effects of concussion indicates that the brain is injured as a result of a concussion. Yet concussions are often discounted as being insignificant by athletes, trainers, coaches, and physicians.

    A six question survey was designed to assess Active and Retired National Football League members’ fundamental knowledge of concussions. This investigation is the first study designed to assess NFL players’ knowledge of concussions. An analysis of the findings revealed that many NFL players lack accurate and essential knowledge pertaining to various aspects of a concussion.

    Given the players’ apparent lack of knowledge, it is reasonable to assume that these athletes may have sustained concussions without recognizing that they experienced a brain injury. The complex, varying and individualized central nervous system response to brain insult and resultant concussion injury not only justifies, but requires a comprehensive assessment from a readily available and qualified multidisciplinary team of health-care providers. This justification is based on the potential pervasive cognitive, emotional and physical impairments which can result from sustaining a concussion.

    Furthermore, sports team health-care personnel need to focus primarily on the athletes’ health and well-being, and not minimize an injury or primarily concentrate on the players’ capacity to perform on the field. This expanded focus is necessary in order to avoid any real or perceived conflicts of interest emerging in the concussion management and related return to play decision-making process.

    As the field of sports related concussions is in its infancy, it would seem reasonable for the field to develop clear and comprehensive conflict of interest policies pertaining to not only concussion management, but also to research.

    Recommendations for multidisciplinary educational approaches pertaining to the adverse implications and effects of concussions, and future research, are also offered. These recommendations are suggested to foster trust in athlete health care and sports related concussion research from athletes and the general public, and to allow athletes the proactive ability to make informed choices regarding their injury and corresponding health.
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    Commentary:

    A) My doctoral dissertation research in the area of Clinical Psychology was the pioneer study of Active and Retired National Football League Players’ Knowledge of Concussions. Pertinent results of this research were presented at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Health System Center’s Concussion Symposium held in Pittsburgh during July, 2002.

    This groundbreaking research also supports and expands on the content found in PBS’s October 2013 documentary broadcast of the League of Denial. The 2004 findings detail a lengthy historical perspective regarding the adverse effects of concussions / brain injuries.

    Some of my additional concussion research findings include:

    1- The preponderance of credible experimental and clinical evidence pertaining to the adverse effects of concussion indicates that the brain is injured as a result of a concussion;

    2- Many NFL players did not realize that a concussion is a brain injury;

    3- Many NFL players lacked accurate and essential knowledge pertaining to various aspects of a concussion;

    4- There is a cumulative adverse effect of suffering multiple concussions;

    5- Despite concussions being discounted as insignificant by athletes, trainers, coaches and physicians, there is a diverse range of lifelong negative consequences of a concussion;

    6- Uncovering apparent conflicts of interests (COIs) that existed in the assessment, management, return to play decisions and research of concussions by various NFL related personnel.

    7- Sports team health-care personnel need to focus primarily on the athletes’ health and well-being, and not minimize an injury or primarily concentrate on the players’ capacity to perform on the field.

    ================================================================

    B) A review of my Dissertation Reference section uncovers and reveals a significant amount of concussion information available within the professional literature. I was able to uncover significant and informative research data regarding the adverse effects of concussions contained within the 1800’s, 1900’s and early 2000’s professional literature. Thus, it seems that a large organization could have easily accessed this same information.
    It also seems reasonable that athletes should have been timely informed of the existence these relevant and significant concussions issues after the articles were published in various well respected professional journals.

    Finally, the following citation taken from my 2004 Dissertation brings to light that concussions need to be viewed as a possible serious brain injury.

    This 1975 statement, written over 40 years ago, imploring both the exercise of responsible concussion health care delivery and reasonable caution, remains pertinent to present day sports-related concussions:

    “Doctors [and other health care providers] do have a duty to convince the controlling bodies and participants in sports where concussion is frequent that the effects are cumulative and that the acceptance of concussion injury, though gallant, may be very dangerous”
    Gronwall, D., & Wrightson, P. (1975) –The Lancet, 2, p. 997.

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