Parents’ fears about head injuries are not unfounded. It is conservatively estimated that between 1.6 and 3.8 million concussions occur annually in the United States as a result of athletic involvement.4,5 Moreover, the rate of sports-related concussions has been increasing, with one prospective study finding a 15.5 percent annual increase over an eleven-year period.
… Neurological surgeons caution that no concussion should be taken lightly. In the short term, concussions may cause a range of physical, cognitive, behavioral and emotional signs and symptoms. More disturbingly, researchers have found that some concussions can have downstream neurodegenerative effects, giving rise to “patterns of decline often associated with abnormal aging.” A 2014 study in Surgical Neurology International coined a term for this increasingly prevalent problem: “diminished brain resilience (DBR) syndrome.”