It is a heartbreaking reality that many members of our military suffer TBIs, and they come home to new struggles in their everyday lives as they adjust and recover. But though the short-term results of their injuries have been highlighted many times, it’s rarely been noted that they risk the same long-term neurological effects as professional athletes.
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a condition similar to dementia that can only be diagnosed postmortem and has been a factor in several suicides, is a real danger for our veterans who have suffered concussions and other head injuries while deployed. All the risks that athletes are now so aware of also apply to other repeated head injury victims, among whom our armed forces are foremost.
It’s easy to remember athletes’ brain injury risks because every week, every day even, we sit in front of our televisions or in stadiums and watch those injuries as they happen. We aren’t similarly reminded when it comes to our armed forces, but we should be just as (if not more) aware.
Head injuries in the line of duty are not typically high-profile and don’t affect fantasy rosters, but they deserve our attention and concern, and their victims help deserve our help – through their short-term recovery and through whatever consequences may surface down the road. Let’s not forget them.
*Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.