The sports authorities are to take into consideration the long term neurological problems that repeated concussions can cause, suggested an editorial published in The Lancet Neurology.
Cerebral concussion is the most common form of sports-related traumatic brain injury (TBI), and the long-term effects of repeated concussions may include dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and other neurological disorders, say the journal editors. However, what is perhaps more concerning, is that even when the symptoms of concussion are delayed, or if they come and go quickly, neurological damage can remain without detection.
This can lead to footballers, such as Uruguayan defender Álvaro Pereira during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, overruling doctors' advice to be substituted and returning to play after sustaining a head injury. The journal editors argue that the decision for players to return to a game after sustaining a concussion should be made only by healthcare professionals, and should surely be taken out of the hands of those with a vested interest in the player's performance.