Why Are More Children Suffering from Concussions on the Football Field?

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There’s definitely a shift going on in the world of football. Ratings are down by nearly twenty percent for some games, and one of the reasons for this is due to the perceived dangers of the game. Last year’s critically-acclaimed film, Concussion, highlighted how football players are more susceptible to brain-related injuries. We have seen this in many players of the past who are currently battling symptoms of brain trauma and concussions as well as some players who succumbed to those symptoms.

 

And it’s not just the fact that not as many people are watching the game. Youth football enrollment is down as parents fear the ramifications of tackle football on developing brains. This makes sense, but one would expect that there would be fewer concussions and other brain injuries in youth football if fewer kids are playing. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. In fact, the number of emergency department visits by children and teens that are experiencing symptoms of a sports-related concussion or some other traumatic brain injury is actually up by sixty percent.

 

Claire Dwoskin, Founder of the Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute (CMSRI), wrote about this confusing statistic and what researchers believe is leading to the increase in sports-related concussions in children and teens. She refers to the work of Wendy Morley and MIT senior research scientist Stephanie Seneff. They believe that the issue could be diminished resiliency due to the rising toxic environment children deal with on a daily basis. They coined the term, diminished brain resilience (DBR) syndrome, to describe this epidemic.

 

Children get reduced sunlight, eat produce with dangerous pesticides and other chemicals, have poor gut health from eating too many processed foods, and are exposed to heavy metals from common household products like antiperspirant deodorant and even vaccines. Aluminum exposure is particularly dangerous because it goes into their bones and brains, resulting in brain inflammation, making it more difficult to counter the effects of a concussion.

 

In addition to reducing children’s chemical exposure that is present in sports drinks, sunscreens, and some deodorants, the researchers suggest that parents research vaccines and vaccine ingredients before visiting the pediatrician to discuss his or her vaccine schedule and potential effects of the types of vaccines given to the child. Being an informed parent is the best protection for raising a healthy child.

Autism Onset: Genetics, Environment Or Both?

To date, there is no clear reason as to why 1 in 68 children develop autism spectrum disorder, a condition that has significantly increased over the past two decades. What we do know is that those with ASD typically have problems with social, emotional and communication skills, which makes it hard to get through daily activity. The debilitating disorder can be diagnosed at a very early age, anywhere between 6 months old to 2 years old, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on average, children were not diagnosed until after the age of 4.

Unfortunately, most research regarding the onset of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders like autism have historically focused on the presumption of genetic causes and less emphasis on environmental factors. However, heritability factors cannot adequately explain every single reported case of autism nor can it account for the reason as to why there has been a dramatic increase of the disorder over the past few decades.  In fact, according to a recent publication from funded CMSRI researchers, there is now sufficient evidence from both human and animal studies that display cumulative exposure from environmental factors that make it not as benign as previously assumed.

Evidence has emerged that indicates the onset of autism may in part result from early-life immune insults induced by environmental xenobiotics. A common xenobiotic that is immuno-stimulation and has neurotoxic properties is aluminum, which is routinely exposed to infants under 2 years old in the form of an aluminum vaccine adjuvant. The aluminum adjuvant is said to excite the immune system, however, it has the potential to induce adverse numerological and immunological effects that shows important clues to its putative role in autism.

Since infants are at the greatest risk of experiencing an adverse reaction following a vaccination, the possibility that the immune system is overstimulated may be a major role in the onset of neurobehavioral disorders. Also, autism spectrum disorder falls under the same umbrella of proposed etiologies of well-known neurological disorders that are associated with aging. These include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Lou Gehrig’s disease – all of which are presumed to arise from genetic mutations. But, that widespread theory is incorrect because the large majority of these diseases, that are not familial, do not possess obvious genetic mutations with the onset or progression of the disease. This makes the disorders fall into the category as sporadic and the rise in both the prevalence and incident of these disorders, including autism, in a short time span rules out a genetic origin.

When environmental factors are taken into consideration for the onset of neurological disorders, it opens up the doors to possibility. It allows researchers to look at different causal issues, like aluminum, and how it interacts with the central nervous system, in which, has the potential to cause dysfunctional immune functions, various degrees of social and verbal impairments and other loss of skills that disrupt everyday life.

The Dwoskin Family Foundation wants to raise awareness of vaccine safety and let others know of some of the harmful ingredients that are put in them so they can help improve the lives of those who have suffered from adverse reactions and figure out ways to prevent them from happening.