Some of you may already know that the Amen Clinics did a study (2009-2012) on active and retired professional football players related to the effects of chronic traumatic brain injury or TBI. It was reportedly the largest brain imaging and rehabilitation study of its kind to date. Some conclusions were:
- A very high percentage of football players showed symptoms of TBI (and evidence of TBI patterns on SPECT scans) which included ADD-like symptoms
- 81% of the players showed symptoms of attention problems and concentration problems
There seems to be a sense that cases of ADD are increasing. Based on Dr. Amen’s work, the question becomes whether these cases are really ADD or related to TBI. My brain’s opinion is that TBI in a developing brain may be especially problematic. Dr. Amen wrote in a recent newsletter: “Nobody knows exactly how many blows to the head it takes to cause problems, yet studies have shown that it takes longer for children to recover from a second concussion if it follows soon after a first, and that once someone has a concussion they’re more likely to experience more.” You may want to check out the article yourself.