With the recent deaths of Ray Easterling and Junior Seau, and the prominence of head-shots within the Saints bounty scandal, football-related brain injuries have returned to the news. Unfortunately for the general public, these reports don’t contain much useful information on the injuries and their causes, diagnoses, and treatments. Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to listen and speak to Dr. Stefan Duma of Virginia Tech and Dr. Jeffrey Barth of the University of Virginia, both of whom are leaders in the field of head injury research. Duma leads the most sophisticated head injury research facility in the country, and also leads the program that monitors head impacts received by VT players during games and practices. Barth is a member of the NFL Players Association Concussion Committee and co-wrote a study that first put concussions in the public spotlight back in the 80’s.
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