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Actor Will Smith, who recently starred in Concussion, says he believes that sports players who suffer repeated bumps to the head are at danger of long-term brain damage.
The film Concussion is based on how Dr Bennet Omalu, a forensic pathologist in the USA, who discovered that the brains of former NFL players showed changes usually seen in Alzheimer's patients. They showed evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). In a BBC interview Will Smith said that having seen similar autopsies, the link between numerous knocks to the head and brain damage cannot be disputed.
‘Once you see the inside, I get it, you shouldn't bang your head over and over again and if you do there's a possibility that you'll have long-term brain damage. No one can really debate that.’
Whilst the film is based on American Football, there are similar concerns here especially involving rugby players suffering knocks to the head in a tackle and football players heading the ball. There is no official recognition among sporting bodies that small repeated knocks to the head can cause CTE however, in recent times both sports have taken some steps to better manage head injuries and in particular concussion suffered during a game.
Head Injury UK: Head Injury Claim Experts
The difficulty with the injuries suffered by these players is that the small, incremental damage does not readily show on brain scans so by the time symptoms develop, years later, they are often just put down to ageing. As we continue to better understand how our brains work and scanning techniques improve, doctors will be able to better diagnose minor brain injury. This should allow people to know what harm has been done to their brains and to take steps to prevent further injury. If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury caused by someone else and want to know how we can help, please please contact Andy Shaw or call us on 0800 073 0988.
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