By Kate Jackman-Atkinson, Neepawa Banner & Press
NEEPAWA, Man. — Participation in sports has a myriad of well-documented benefits. The confidence, improved health and teamwork and leadership skills learned in sports can be applied throughout life. But the news might not be good across the board; there is a growing body of research into the downside of the way we are playing certain sports. As the fall season gets underway and players head to the rinks and fields, what’s being done to ensure their long-term health?
Research into the link between brain injuries and sports has been growing, especially the role that sports can play in the development of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a degenerative brain disease found in those with a history of repetitive brain injuries. Medically, CTE is the result of protein called tau forming clumps, which eventually spread and kill brain cells. CTE isn’t specifically tied to concussions, but seems to be strongly tied to brain-jarring hits.