Written by Phil Cerroni
Speeding down the SH-183 exit ramp towards O’Connor Rd, a Camaro slams into a, slow moving, El Camino. Everyone recognizes a horrific accident just occurred. What if, instead of getting into a catastrophic accident, they just kissed bumpers. There is no visible damage, just a little scratched chrome. The drivers leave, and a few days pass before they discover the accident knocked their drive trains out of alignment.
Dr. Bryan Wasson, a specialist in internal medicine, used a similar analogy to describe concussions as he lectured coaches, parents and trainers at Baylor Health Center at Irving Coppell on Sept. 18.
Through access to in depth case studies and precise neurocognitive testing, trainers and physicians recently identified indicators of concussions and recovery methods, especially relating to asymptomatic concussions and subconcussive brain trauma.
Dr. Wasson took time to debunk some common myths surrounding traumatic brain injury, and the first misconception he addressed was the declaration that athletes know when they have recovered. Looming over this asserts stands the obvious fact that athletes regularly lie to coaches about being able to play. Statistics suggest that, while 50 percent of athletes suffer concussions every year, only 10 percent notify their coaches.
An athlete’s silence is complicated by the fact that noticeable symptoms do not always accompany brain injury.
Athletes may not even know they were injured.
Dr. Wasson suggested that athletes take cognitive tests before the beginning of the season in order to establish a baseline score for healthy brain activity. If questions arise about their health after an impact, they can take the test again and compare the results to the control set.