Preventing Head Injury: Should We be Talking about Rules or Helmets?

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Helmet-to-helmet collisions in the National Football League (NFL) have been a major topic of discussion during the 2010 season. One factor that has not gotten much attention is the equipment involved, specifically the helmet that is worn during the game. Protecting players from injuries such as concussions that are caused by the violent collisions that take place on a game-by-game basis should be the top priority of the NFL. Instead, the major controversy of helmet-to-helmet collisions this year has been what constitutes a legal or an illegal hit. Pittsburgh Steelers players have strongly voiced their opinions to the league office about fines handed to players accused of leading with the helmet when making a tackle, noting in their argument the standard form for making a tackle and the shifting planes of players moments before collisions.

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Concussed High School Athletes Who Receive Neuropsychological Testing Sidelined Longer

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When computerized neuropsychological testing is used, high school athletes suffering from a sports-related concussion are less likely to be returned to play within one week of their injury, according to a study in The American Journal of Sports Medicine (published by SAGE). Unfortunately, concussed football players are less likely to have computerized neuropsychological testing than those participating in other sports.

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Exercise: The Older You Get, the More You Get Back

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Medical doctors and researchers have been telling us for years that exercise is important for living a healthy and fulfilling life. An increasing number of research studies are indicating multiple benefits of physical activity for older adults. Aging is inevitable; your body begins to slowly break down, from your bones, to your muscles, to your brain. Due to this deterioration, as you age you can begin to lose both mental function and physical abilities. Not surprisingly, by keeping your body active, you can slow the deterioration of muscle and bone and maintain brain function as you age. In fact, numerous research studies have found that physical activity improves brain function, especially in the aging adult. This includes improved memory function and a reduced chance of dementia. Physical activity has also been used to treat and help prevent depression.

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Kids, Nights, and Weight

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Children who don’t get a good night’s sleep might wind up with an overweight body. Researchers saw it in around 1,900 children ranging in ages from birth to 13 years old. The researchers looked at sleep patterns and weight in 1997 and 2002. According to UCLA researcher Frederick Zimmerman, “It was roughly 10 hours of sleep a night. Kids who didn’t get enough sleep by that standard had roughly 80 percent more probability of being obese subsequently.”

The researchers say naps during the day don’t offset the effect. They think a lack of nighttime sleep throws off key hormones that affect weight and metabolism.

The study in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Do States Get a Return on Sports Facilities Investments?

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A little less than 34 years ago, the New York Giants played the Dallas Cowboys in the opening game of the new stadium off of Exit 16W of the New Jersey Turnpike in the Meadowlands. This year the Giants and the New York Jets will play the first football game in the new stadium off of Exit 16W of the New Jersey Turnpike in the Meadowlands. The new stadium has hosted concerts and the international kind of football but this place was built for the Giants and Jets.

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