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Concussions, Football and Dr. Bennet Omalu

CTE, Concussions, Football, Dr. Bennet Omalu

Dr. Bennet Omalu is the doctor who discovered physical evidence of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in activities other than boxing. Nicknamed the Concussion Doctor, Omalu fought for a Concussion Discussion with the NFL.

Brain health of football players.

Dr. Bennet Omalu said, “While munching on my apple I put the slides in and looked. Whoa. "

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a blow to the head or a violent shaking of the head and body and DP is a type of CTE that is a neurodegenerative disease with characteristics of dementia.


Dr. Bennet Omalu is the doctor who discovered physical evidence of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in activities other than boxing related to concussions and dementia pugilistica (DP).
Dr. Bennet Omalu
Who is the concussion doctor?

 Forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu conducted the autopsy of Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster, which led to his discovery of a new disease that he named chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. 

Dr. Omalu grew up in Nigeria Africa; his only encounter with the NFL was through the sports segment on the news. Dr. Bennet Omalu said, “While munching on my apple I put the slides in and looked. Whoa. I had to make sure the slides were Mike Webster's slides. 

I looked again. I looked again. I saw changes that should not be in a 50-year-old man's brains, and changes that should not be in a brain that looked normal. I saw abnormal proteins in his brain, so-called neurofibrillary tangles, and threads. However, I looked at several, you know, the topographic distribution. 

It was different from Alzheimer's disease. Again, that complicated my disposition, my state of mind. Therefore, I took the slides home, said, "This is something I need to spend time with." The NFL doctors sent a letter to Dr. Omalu accusing him of fraud and his CTE paper should be retracted because CTE does not exist. 

However, Dr. Omalu stated Mike Webster, Terry Long, Andre Waters, Justin Strzelczyk, Junior Seau and all the NFL players he examined pathologically, he has not seen one that did not have changes in their brain system with brain damage. 

Eventually the NFL created a concussion protocol protecting players from CTE. The concussion protocol is a four-page document compiled by the NFL’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee, with input from the NFL Players Association, NFL Physicians Society and the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society.

 
Death of the Pittsburgh Steelers hall of fame center Mike Webster lead to the NFL’s concussion protocol.
Death of the Pittsburgh Steelers
hall of fame center Mike Webster
lead to the NFL’s concussion protocol.

The NFL’s concussion protocol five steps roughly are: Rest and recovery. Players may stretch and work on their balance, but they don’t work out beyond that. 

In addition, they’re advised against spending time on computers, any electronic device and social media. They don’t take part in team meetings. 

Light aerobic exercise. Under supervision of the team’s medical staff, the player can start cardiovascular exercise, such as riding a stationary bike and using a treadmill, and work on more dynamic stretching and balancing. 

The workload is increased gradually and halted entirely if concussion-related symptoms recur. Players can attend team meetings and study film. Continued aerobic exercise, introduction of strength training. 

Building gradually on the work of step 2, the player can start weight training. The player adds non-contact football drills, such as throwing, catching and running to his repertoire of exercise. 

No contact allowed with other players, tackling dummies or sleds. Full football activity, full clearance. The player resumes practicing with the team, with no limitations. 

Once the team physician clears him to complete, the player is examined by the independent neurological consultant, who also reviews any relevant neurological tests.

Dr. Bennet Omalu was the Chief Medical Examiner of San Joaquin County, California, however in 2018 Dr. Omalu and Dr. Susan Parson made accusations that the Sherriff, former Sherriff Moore was changing their findings on several cases.

In response, the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors voted to create a new, independent medical examiner's office, separating the sheriff-coroner title. In San Joaquin County, as in most counties in the state, the sheriff is also the Coroner.

Per a recent news article from ABC News, The NFL's concussion settlement program manual recommends the use of a full demographic correction in which a player's cognitive test scores are compared to average scores, or norms for similar demographic groups, and then adjusted to account for expected differences in age, gender, education and race.

The practice of adjusting test scores for race is called race-norming and is in use across several different medical fields.

The norms used in a neuropsychology assumes that the average Black player starts at a lower level of cognitive functioning than the average white player. Black players need to show larger cognitive declines than white players to qualify for concussion compensation.”

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Being African in America I have grown up learning about different ethnic cultures. My father and mother are historians of African culture and history and their influence expanded my activities to several best-selling cookbooks, magazine columns, self-branded products, and a popular African culture and food blog.

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