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The Concussion Crisis: Anatomy of a Silent Epidemicby Linda Carroll
Synopses & Reviews
FOR FAR TOO LONG, the menace of concussions has been hidden in plain sight. On playing fields across America, lives are being derailed by seemingly innocuous jolts to the head. From the peewees to the pros, concussions are reaching epidemic proportions. This book brings that hidden epidemic and its consequences out of the shadows. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;As frightening as the numbers areand#8212;estimates of sports-related concussions range from 1.6 million to 3.8 million annually in the United Statesand#8212;they canand#8217;t begin to explain the profound impact of a hidden health problem that can strike any of us. It is becoming increasingly clear that concussions, like severe head traumas, can rob us of our memory, our mental abilities, our very sense of self. Because the damage caused by a concussion is rarely visible to the naked eye or even on a brain scan, no one knows how many millions might be living lives devastated by an invisible injury too often shrugged off as and#8220;just a bump on the head.and#8221; andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;This book puts a human face on a huge public health crisis. Through narratives that chronicle the poignant experiences of real people struggling with this invisible and often unrecognized brain injury, Linda Carroll and David Rosner bring home its potentially devastating consequences. Among those you will meet are a high school football player whose college dreams were derailed by a series of undiagnosed concussions, a hard-driving soccer star whose own struggles with concussions pushed her to crusade for safety reform as a coach and soccer mom, and an economist who lost her career because of lingering concussion symptoms from a fender bender. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;andlt;Iandgt;The Concussion Crisis andlt;/Iandgt;weaves these human dramas with compelling stories of scientists and doctors who are unraveling the mysteries of how an invisible injury can wreak such havoc. It takes readers into the top labs, where scientists are teasing out what goes wrong in the brain after a jolt to the head, and into the nationand#8217;s leading concussion clinic, where patients get cutting-edge management and treatment. Carroll and Rosner analyze the cultural factors that allowed this burgeoning epidemic to fester unseen and untreated. They chronicle the growing public awareness sparked by the premature retirements of superstars like NFL quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Steve Young. And they argue for an immediate change in a macho culture that minimizes the dangers inherent in repeated jolts to the head. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;andlt;Iandgt;The Concussion Crisis andlt;/Iandgt;sounds an urgent wake-up call to parents, coaches, trainers, doctors, and the athletes themselves. The book will stand as the definitive exploration of this heretofore-silent health crisis. It should be required reading for every parent with a child playing sportsand#8212;in fact, by everyone who has ever suffered a hard bump on the head.
"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.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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.
Brings the explosive but largely invisible epidemic of concussions out of the shadows through stories of kids and pro ball players and doctors.
About 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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