Awareness On Sports Related Concussions - Weston CI/ENGLISH 4U - Informative Speech

1236 words - 5 pages

Awareness on sports-related concussions and its effects
A majority of us play a sport or is involved in some kind of recreational activity.
Basketball, football, volleyball, hockey and rugby are all completely different sports, with
different rules. ​What is one thing all these athletes have in common? They are all prone
to brain injuries. ​(hypophora) ​A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that is caused by a
jolt or hard hit to the upper body or the head. This powerful force causes the head and
the brain to move back and forth at a fast rate, colliding with the inside of the skull. This
motion causes damage to the brains’ tissues, nerves and blood vessels resulting in our
brain not being able to function as normal. There are different types of concussions from
grade 1 to 3 - meaning mild, moderate or severe. This disease is also known as ​Chronic
Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE. ​The brain is a soft tissue made up of millions of
neurons which communicate with each other allowing us to think, move and feel. Once
damaged, these neurons do not grow back, which is why we need to bring awareness
to prevent concussions because they are more common than we think and the effects
are very dangerous. What makes CTE more difficult to understand is, it can only be
diagnosed after death.
The effects of repeated blows to the head can be short term or long term
depending on the severity. Athletes with mild hits to the head can experience what is
known as first stage symptoms like headaches, dizziness and confusion- not
remembering the event is common. Severe jolts to the head result in worse damage like
dementia, personality changes, depression and psychological problems and even
death. It is easy to notice and recognize the symptoms of concussions to help prevent
them from worsening. There are some changes being made in football leagues like the
NFL to college and high school teams designed to limit the amount of concussions that
are seen.
“To cut down on concussion rates, the NFL moved kickoffs to the 35-yard-line and later
moved the starting point for a touchback (when the kickoff is downed in the end zone
instead of returned) from the 20-yard-line to the 25. These modifications were intended
to cut down on kickoff returns, which are particularly dangerous since players build up
speed as they run at each other from across the field. The NFL has also banned hits that
use the top of the helmet as a weapon, and prioritized the enforcement of rules against
hits targeting the head.” (Loria 2017)
The question is, will these efforts reduce the CTE injuries that are flooding the NFL?
After these rules were put in place, the concussion rates in the NFL increased
surprisingly. A study conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association
presented that out of 202 Football players in the American league who have passed
away, 178 of them showed signs of CTE. In former NFL players the numbers were more
appalling. In addition, the studies shown that 110...

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