Hundreds, if not thousands, of times a year a young athlete takes a hard blow to the head in the course of a high school, college, or an amateur sporting event. When this occurs, how do trainers and coaches determine if the athlete has received a concussion? If he or she has a concussion, is it cause for concern? And how is a decision made to return an athlete to playing contact sports? Over the past several years, a number of studies have shown that many different factors need to be considered in assessing sports-related concussions at all levels, from young children involved in Little League to professional athletes.
G.A.S. Spells Stress As with so many wondrous discoveries of science and medicine, it was by chance that Hungarian-born Hans Selye (1907-1982) stumbled upon the idea of the General Adaptation Syndrome (G.A.S.), which he first wrote about in the British journal Nature in the summer of 1936. The G.A.S., alternately known as the stress syndrome, [...]
Recent studies of brain development in teenagers may finally give parents the scientific authority to say “No you’re not!” in answer to the common adolescent complaint, “But I’m old enough to make my own decisions!” That authority comes from brain imaging studies that reveal some surprising features of the adolescent brain. Deborah Yurgelun-Todd and colleagues [...]
I remember my mother’s vegetable garden when I was a child, corn plants tall like skyscrapers. I remember when I fell out of a tree and everyone from the neighbor’s barbecue rushed over to see if I’d broken a bone. Remember, remember… the verb itself is poetic, connotating the essence of experience. The notion of [...]
Although its most obvious role is in hearing, the auditory system contains organs that mediate both hearing and balance. Problems in the auditory system can range from a simple ear ache to complete deafness and may also involve difficulties with equilibrium. Each type of pathology is the result of damage in a specific part of [...]
The nervous system informs the body about itself and the world around it and enables the body to react to this information. To accomplish this, the nervous system actively identifies, integrates and interprets incoming sensory stimuli, and produces electrochemical impulses that are distributed via peripheral nerves to generate responses to the environment and internal conditions. [...]