The Concussion Crisis: Anatomy of a Silent Epidemic

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Overview

The first book to bring the silent epidemic of sports concussions out of the shadows, with dramatic true-life stories of victims—high school football players, college basketball stars, professional sports heroes—and the doctors and scientists who are unraveling the mysteries of concussions and crusading to prevent this devastating injury.

• Follows in the footsteps of classics: Like what Fast Food Nation did for the American diet and The Noonday Demon did for depression, The ...

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The Concussion Crisis: Anatomy of a Silent Epidemic

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Overview

The first book to bring the silent epidemic of sports concussions out of the shadows, with dramatic true-life stories of victims—high school football players, college basketball stars, professional sports heroes—and the doctors and scientists who are unraveling the mysteries of concussions and crusading to prevent this devastating injury.

• Follows in the footsteps of classics: Like what Fast Food Nation did for the American diet and The Noonday Demon did for depression, The Concussion Crisis puts a human face on a huge but largely invisible public health crisis.

• An epidemic that afflicts millions: In the United States alone, 1.7 million people are seen in the ER each year for traumatic brain injuries, mostly concussions—more than for invasive cancers, heart attacks, and strokes. Experts estimate that millions more go undiagnosed and untreated. And yet, each day, parents around the country send their kids off to play sports completely unaware of the risk to their children’s brains. The Concussion Crisis is essential reading for every family.

• A hidden health crisis revealed: Concussions can rob their victims of memory, mental ability, even a sense of self. Because the damage is rarely visible and barely registers on a brain scan, it’s easy to miss something that all too often is shrugged off as “just a bump on the head.”

• Filled with poignant true-life examples: Readers meet a high school football star whose college career is derailed by concussions, a soccer mom who herself suffered concussions and now advocates for safety reform, a doctor who treats student athletes as well as pro players suffering from concussions, and more.

• A call to action: The Concussion Crisis argues for a wholesale change in our culture—in how we think about and play sports at all levels, from peewee leagues to the Big Leagues.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
On the heels of the recent deaths of NHL player Derek Boogaard and NFL safety Dave Duerson involving possible brain trauma, this book detailing the current plague of sports-related concussions, written by MSNBC.com health writer Carroll and sports scribe Rosner, is a very hot topic. The authors cite estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that there are 1.6 million to 3.8 million sports-related concussions every year. With more than 44 million girls and boys playing organized sports, the writers spell out the dire consequences of impact games without proper safety measures. They provide grisly statistics and cautionary examples of schoolchildren and sports figures such as big league football stars Troy Aikman, hockey star Pat LaFontaine, and boxer Jerry Quarry, who have compromised health after a life of competition and concussions. The authors recount how scientists have come to understand the danger concussions pre-sent—ranging from memory loss to impaired judgment and dementia—and note that although treatments and research in brain injuries are showing promise, prevention is the best way to protect both child and adult athletes. This noteworthy book issues a challenge to the "macho play-through-the pain" sports culture and urges a rethinking of safety versus spectacle. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is often in the news. Returning war veterans have sustained these injuries in battle, and another group of victims incurs them right here at home: young athletes injured while playing football or basketball or engaging in other contact sports such as boxing. Many suffer no immediate consequences and assume their injuries amount to no more than a bump on the head. Some who seek medical attention neither show signs nor exhibit symptoms of injury. Despite this, there is often damage, especially if there have been repeated injuries. Health writer Carroll and sports writer Rosner examine the epidemic by looking at the lives of victims as well as the doctors and scientists researching these injuries. They include information on the anatomy and physiology of the brain, the damage caused by traumatic injury, and case histories of young children as well as professional athletes (e.g., Muhammad Ali, Jerry Quarry, and Steve Young). Injured soldiers and accident victims also tell their stories. VERDICT This valuable book brings an important public health issue to light. Highly recommended for public and consumer health libraries.—Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland P.L.
Library Journal
10/01/2013
An interesting historical look at our developing understanding of the damage resulting from concussion. (LJ 9/1/11)
Kirkus Reviews

A comprehensive, anecdote-laden analysis ofconcussive head traumas.

MSNBC.com and New York Times health writer Carroll and former Newsday and Neurology Now reporter Rosner examine the concussion epidemic as a "major public health crisis," noting that many of these cases go ignored only to reemerge in adulthood as early-onset Alzheimer's disease or dementia, as in the case of boxing legend Sugar Ray Robinson. The authors reinforce their assertions with numerous case histories involving young athletes like teenaged football hopeful Dave Showalter, whose raw potential was stunted by the cumulative effects of repeated head injuries. More recognizable victims include NFL gridiron heroes Troy Aikman, Al Toon and Steve Young, and hockey stars Eddie Shore and Pat LaFontaine—all of whom were forced into early retirement as a result of concussive brain damage. Carroll and Rosner spotlight the expansive reach of the syndrome by including female athletes equally susceptible to the malady, car-accident victims, a 13-year-old football player who suffered catastrophic injuries from a solitary event, military soldiers in Iraq and the coaches and professional athletic leagues who, under pressure from players, parents and the industry at large, brush off these potentially life-threatening wounds. Though the personal profiles vastly outnumber chapters on remedies, they are consistently intriguing and alarming, accentuated by brain-injury particulars, scientific and medical statistical data and clinical studies by leading concussion experts like Dr. Robert Cantu, who, after two decades of research, published defined guidelines on the duration athletes should be sidelined after a concussive event to prevent permanent damage from "second-impact syndrome." The authors argue that while positive change is underway with heightened awareness from NFL teams and elsewhere, the majority of concussions still go undiagnosed and that education remains the best defense against this "invisible injury with subtle symptoms that often seems to pass quickly."

A cautionary wake-up call about addressing a seemingly innocuous hit to the head with critical care.

Frank Deford
…thoughtfully passionate and comprehensive…The Concussion Crisis is quite a devastating testament. It lays it all out and forces us to ponder how a civilized people can blithely accept an entertainment that does such damage to young men's minds.
—The Washington Post
From the Publisher
"This noteworthy book issues a challenge to the "macho play-through-the pain" sports culture and urges a rethinking of safety versus spectacle." —-Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781451627220
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 9/13/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Carroll has been a nationally respected health writer for seventeen years. While covering a broad range of health topics for MSNBC.com and The New York Times, she has developed a specialized expertise in brain science. As an MSNBC.com contract writer for the past ten years, Carroll has done everything from investigative reporting to column writing for the Internet’s leading news website. She was the MSNBC.com women’s health columnist for five years. She has also written investigative pieces for Health and SmartMoney, and in-depth health and medical articles for Newsday and the Los Angeles Times.

David Rosner is a journalist with extensive experience covering sports and health for prominent publications. As a longtime sportswriter at Newsday in New York, he won national newspaper awards for deadline, enterprise, and investigative reporting. He launched the city sports bureau of New York Newsday, created the genre of sports-business journalism at Sports inc. magazine, and broke ground in the coverage of athletes with disabilities for WeMedia’s award-winning website. In addition to freelancing articles for national magazines ranging from TIME to the Sporting News, he co-authored The Official Illustrated NHL History. He also has edited two national consumer magazines, including Neurology Now, the official patients’ magazine of the American Academy of Neurology.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 24, 2011

    Excellent!

    I found this book to be very insightful in helping me learn more about brain injuries. While its focus is mostly on the physical injury, there was some about how difficult it is for students to learn after the head injury.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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