Concussions may cause stroke in the future
Research continues to emerge showing the damage done to the brain as a result of repeated concussions, and the latest study finds that these serious brain injuries may lead to stroke.
A blow to the head can result in damage to brain cells, thereby limiting the flow of blood to the brain, according to a study published by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. When blood flow is constricted, the brain may not receive enough oxygen and glucose. This temporary deprivation can cause a stroke in the future.
“A concussion immediately disrupts blood flow to the brain,” says Dr. Franco Campanella, neurologist and medical director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill. “This disruption may be a factor in the possible link between concussion and the risk of stroke in the future.”
In the past few years, several former professional football players have come forward and shared their struggles with memory loss, dementia and other neurological conditions. Most recently, a 24-year-old rookie, Chris Borland, retired because he did not want to risk the consequences of concussions.
“These concerns are a ‘game-changer’ because they have athletes in contact sports reconsidering their careers,” Dr. Campanella says. “They now must weigh the immediate benefits of a lucrative professional career against the likelihood of future health complications.”
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