Anyone below 18 years shouldn’t play football because of risks of long-term brain injury, Dr. Bennet Omalu argues

Anyone below 18 years shouldn’t play football because of risks of long-term brain injury, Dr. Bennet Omalu argues

Dr. Bennet Omalu argued in a recent New York Times editorial that anybody below 18 years shouldn’t play football because of long-term brain injury risk. Forensic pathologist Omalu was the one who detected CTE in former Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster’s brain.

The discovery made by him and the effort by members of the Mild Traumatic Brain Injury committee of NFL to disgrace his research is the subject of the film ‘Concussion’ that is going to be released on Friday.

Omalu has pointed out in his editorial that society has decided to prohibit many activities for children and adolescents, including drinking alcohol, serving in the military, smoking, and much more.

He has cited the maturing brain’s vulnerability to trauma before age 18. A ban on football at such an age would be akin to the calls by a number of medical organizations, like the American Academy of Pediatrics, to prohibit boxing for children.

There are two things that are needed to be considered regarding Omalu’s call of banning football before age 18. One is the medical concern particularly the age at which the development of brain takes place.

Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery at the Boston University School of Medicine, Dr. Robert Cantu is afraid of children’s exposure to blows to the head below 12. This early age is the time when kids have excessively huge heads and weak necks, which creates a ‘bobblehead doll’ effect. Every blow the head suffers, create a whiplash effect, shaking the brain against the skull.

People reported that, One morning in 2002, neuro-pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu stood above his autopsy table and stared at the first brain he'd ever seen that belonged to an NFL player.

At the time he knew "practically nothing" about football, but was brimming with "intellectual curiosity" to understand what had led to the sad demise of Mike Webster, the legendary lineman on the table below him whose life fell apart after his retirement a decade earlier.

SI report said, In his interview with Time, Omalu added that the severity of the disease varies from player to player, meaning symptoms can span from mild to severe.

“I meet with retired football players. Some are well-dressed, some are well-spoken, but when you talk to them personally they will admit to you that they are having problems,” Omalu said. “But they are managing their problems. They have impaired memory, they’re having mood problems. They are being treated by their psychiatrists.”

According to the DailyMail, Dr Bennet Omalu, who helped discover chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in football players, said he hasn't examined the brain of a retired footballer that didn't come back with the disease.

The film, set to be released on Friday, tells the story of Omalu who stumbled upon an insidious brain disorder affecting football players that began in 2002 with an autopsy on former Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster .

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