Researchers suggest ways to reduce head impacts in youth football


The high head impact and concussion rates in football are of increasing concern, especially for younger players.

Recent research has shown that limiting contact in football practice can reduce the number of impacts. But what is the correct formula to lessen exposure while still developing the skills necessary to safely play the game?

To find out, researchers at Wake Forest School of Medicine, a part of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, conducted a study that compared head impact exposure (HIE) in practice drills among six youth football teams and evaluated the effect of individual team practice methods on HIE.

The findings are published in the Dec. 21 online edition of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics.

In the study, the researchers collected on-field head impact data from athletes age 10 to 13 on six North Carolina youth football teams during all practices in one season. Video was recorded and analyzed to verify and assign impact severity to specific drills using the Head Impact Telemetry System, a system of sensors embedded in football helmets to detect and record head impacts.

HIE was measured in terms of impacts per player per minute and peak linear and rotational head acceleration. The Wake Forest Baptist research team analyzed the differences in head impact magnitude and frequency among drills, as well as differences among teams within the most common drills. A total of 14,718 impacts during contact practices were collected and evaluated in this study.

Among all six teams, full-speed tackling and blocking drills resulted in the highest head impact severity and frequency, according to the study’s lead author Jillian Urban, Ph.D., assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Wake Forest Baptist.

“However, solely reducing time spent on contact drills may not lower overall head impact exposure in practice,” Urban said. “The severity and frequency of head impacts in may be more influenced by the individual athletes and how drills are taught and run rather than the amount of time spent on each type of .”

The found that there were significant variations in linear acceleration and impact rate among teams within specific drills due to how each team structured their practices.

“Reducing time spent on contact drills relative to minimal or no contact drills may not lower overall HIE,” Urban said. “Instead, interventions such as reducing the speed of players engaged in contact, correcting tackling technique, and then progressing to contact may reduce HIE more effectively.”

Further investigation into differences in head impact severity among tackling techniques in and the associated head mechanism is needed to better understand how HIE can be reduced, she said.

Scientists discover how to make youth last longer – in worms


Tests on roundworms show antidepressant drug can prolong life by more than 30%, but only extends young adulthood, and has no effect on later life stages

Roundworms given the antidepressant mianserin were shown to live longer.
Roundworms given the antidepressant mianserin were shown to live longer.

Petrascheck speculates that the drug works through effects on the nervous system. “I think that organisms regulate their lifespan in response to the environment and that the nervous system is some kind of radar that looks at the environment and makes physiological changes in response to it that lead to a longer or shorter life.”

One possibility, he says, is that the drug makes animals unable to sense when they have eaten, making their bodies go into a starvation response, which has been shown to extend the lifespan of many creatures.

“The hope is that these drugs could be used to treat some age-related disease. It would be a dream come true if you could give this to someone with an early onset age-associated disease, and then push that time point way back. But that’s going to take a while to find out,” he said. “Before there is hard evidence I would not rush to take this medication.”

Young people are sexting – but that doesn’t mean they necessarily want to be, says research


More than half of young adults have engaged in ‘unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner

With the rise of smartphones and Snapchat, sexting is in vogue – but a new study has found that many young people engage in the practice without really wanting to.

More than half (52.3 per cent) of young adults have engaged in “ unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner”, according to research to be published in February in the journal Computers in Human Behaviour.

Most did so for flirtation, foreplay, to fulfil a partner’s needs, or for intimacy, but women were more likely to consent to unwanted sexting because of anxieties about their relationships.

The research, which was carried out by scientists at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), polled 155 undergraduates in committed relationships on their sexting habits.

Fifty-five per cent of the female respondents said they had previously engaged in unwanted sexting, while 48 per cent of men had done the same.

The results show similarities between sexual behaviour online and off: in both cases, couples will willingly go along with sex, even when they do not feel like it, from reasons ranging from satisfying their partner to avoiding an argument.

But while women are often considered to engage in unwanted sex more than men, the research shows only a small difference in the number of men and women partaking in unwanted sexting.

The authors of the article argued “gender-role expectations” could be to blame. Men might be more likely to agree to undesired sexting because doing so is “relatively easy and does not require them to invest more into the relationship,” while women might be discouraged from virtual sex because it fails to help them attain their relationship “goals”.

The survey also showed that people who were anxious about their relationships were more likely to send begrudging sexts, in a bid to alleviate fears about alienation or abandonment by their partners.

Report Finds ‘Culture of Resistance’ on Youth Concussion.


Young athletes in the United States face a “culture of resistance” to telling a coach or parent they might have a concussion, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 

The 306-page report, “Sports-Related Concussions in Youth: Improving the Science, Changing the Culture,” was released during a briefing today at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC.

“Even though there is an increased willingness to report a concussion, there is still the desire on the part of the athlete not to report it because they feel they are letting their teammates down; on the part of the coaches because it upsets the team they have on the field, or their own belief that, ‘I had these, I’m okay, it’s just part of the sport’; and on the part of the parents who want to see their children excel and be accepted,” said Robert Graham, MD, chair of the committee that wrote the report.

Attitude Adjustment

Efforts are needed to “change the culture,” said Dr. Graham, who is director of the National Program Office for Aligning Forces for Quality at George Washington University in Washington, DC.

Over 9 months, the committee did a comprehensive review of the literature on concussions in youth sports with athletes aged 5 to 21 years. 

“The findings of our report justify the concerns about sports concussions in young people,” said Dr. Graham. “However, there are numerous areas in which we need more and better data.  Until we have that information, we urge parents, schools, athletic departments, and the public to examine carefully what we do know, as with any decision regarding risk, so they can make more informed decisions about young athletes playing sports,” he added.

The reported number of individuals aged 19 and under treated in US emergency departments for concussions and other nonfatal sports- and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) increased from 150,000 in 2001 to 250,000 in 2009.

“This could possibly be due to an increase in awareness or reporting of concussions,” committee member Tracey Covassin, PhD, director of the undergraduate athletic training program at Michigan State University in East Lansing. “However, we do not know the true incidence of concussions as several concussions go unreported, as well as a lack of consistency in terminology with different studies that have reported different definitions of concussions.”

The committee found that the majority of research into concussions is at the high school and collegiate levels, with very few to no data reported below the high school level.

The committee also found a “shift” in the incidence of concussions, with more reported at the high school level than the collegiate level, Dr. Covassin said.

Football, ice hockey, lacrosse, wrestling, and soccer are associated with the highest rates of reported concussions for male athletes at the high school and college levels, while soccer, lacrosse, and basketball are associated with the highest rates of reported concussions for female athletes at these levels of play.

Limited Evidence Helmets Cut Risk

The committee found little evidence that current sports helmet designs cut the risk for concussions. 

“What the literature tells us is that diffuse brain injuries like concussion are caused by a combination of linear and rotational forces,” explained committee member Kristy Arbogast, PhD, engineering core director, Center for Injury Research and Prevention, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania. “What we do know is that helmets reduce that linear portion. There is limited evidence that they can manage the rotational components of the impact. This is in part due to standards.”

The committee stressed, however, that properly fitted helmets, face masks, and mouth guards should still be used because they reduce the risk for other injuries.

The committee also examined the scientific literature on concussion recognition, diagnosis, and management. They found that the signs and symptoms of concussion are usually placed into 4 categories — physical, cognitive, emotional, and sleep — with patients having 1 or more symptoms from 1 or more categories. 

Most youth athletes with concussion will recover within 2 weeks of the injury, but in 10% to 20% of cases concussion symptoms persist for several weeks, months, or even years. 

Return to Play

The committee advises that a concussed athlete return to play only when he or she has recovered demonstrably and is no longer having any symptoms. An individualized treatment plan that includes physical and mental rest may be beneficial for recovery from a concussion, but current research does not suggest a standard or universal level and duration of rest needed, the committee notes.

Athletes who return to play before complete recovery are at increased risk for prolonged recovery or more serious consequences if they sustain a second concussion. “The evidence is pretty clear” on this, said committee member Arthur Maerlender, PhD, director of pediatric neuropsychological services at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

The literature also suggests that single and multiple concussions can lead to impairments in the areas of memory and processing speed.  However, it remains unclear whether repetitive head impacts and multiple concussions sustained in youth lead to long-term neurodegenerative disease, such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the committee said.

It notes, however, that surveys of retired professional athletes provide some evidence that a history of multiple concussions increases risk for depression. In a survey of more than 2500 retired professional football players, approximately 11% reported having clinical depression. “Very little” research has evaluated the relationship between concussions and suicidal thoughts and behaviors, the committee notes.

In youth sports, several organizations have called for a “hit count” to limit the amount of head contact a player receives over a given amount of time. Although this concept is “fundamentally sound,” the committee found that implementing a specific threshold for the number of impacts or the magnitude of impacts per week or per season is without scientific basis.

The committee calls for establishing a national surveillance system to accurately determine the number of sports-related concussions, identify changes in the brain following concussions in youth, conduct studies to assess the consequences and effects of concussions over a life span, and evaluate the effectiveness of sports rules and playing practices in reducing concussions. 

Internet chat ‘has a positive side’


Internet forums and chatrooms can have positive effects that should be more widely acknowledged, experts say.

The call comes after Oxford University researchers carried out an analysis of 14 different studies looking at how young people use the internet.

A young girl browses the internet

The review – published in the Plos One journal – said a number of studies had found a link between internet use and self-harm and suicide.

But it said others had found the internet could be a positive influence.

The dangers of internet use have received widespread coverage this year. In one case, in August, 14-year-old Hannah Smith from Leicestershire was found hanged after she had been sent abusive messages on a social networking site.

Since then research by the NSPCC has suggested a fifth of 11 to 16-year-olds have had negative experiences using the internet.

‘Socially isolated’

The Oxford University research highlighted a number of dangers from internet use, including the normalising of self-harm and the risk of bullying.

It also said there was a “strong link” between internet forums and an increased risk of suicide in particular.

“Start Quote

Rather than concentrating primarily on ways of blocking and censoring such sites, we should think about online opportunities to reach out to people in emotional distress”

Joe Ferns Samaritans

But the researchers said some studies had shown that internet forums could support and connect socially isolated people.

There were also examples where forum users encouraged positive behaviour, advised others to seek help and congratulated each other for not harming themselves.

Report author Prof Keith Hawton said: “Communication via the internet and other electronic means has potential roles in both contributing to and preventing suicidal behaviour in young people.

“The next step is going to be development of therapeutic interventions using these channels of communication, especially to access those who do not seek help from clinical services.”

Joe Ferns of the Samaritans added: “We should acknowledge that many people are using suicide forums and chatrooms to anonymously discuss their feelings of distress and despair, including suicidal thoughts, which may have a positive impact on the individual. They may be expressing feelings that they have never disclosed to anyone in their offline lives.

“Rather than concentrating primarily on ways of blocking and censoring such sites, we should think about online opportunities to reach out to people in emotional distress.”

Taking a Closer Look at the Bullying Behavior.


“How things look on the outside of us depends on how things are on the inside of us.” ~ Unknown

bullies

I strongly believe that we are all born with an innate need to give and to share who we are, what we know and what we have with others.

When we are happy and at peace with ourselves and when love is present in our hearts, our actions will reflect our internal state of being. As a result, we will act in loving, kind and positive ways towards ourselves and the world around us. However, when our hearts are filled with pain and sorrow and when love is missing from our lives, we project on to those around us our unhappiness and our inner turmoils.

“Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

The are a lot of people who, because they are very unhappy with themselves and their lives, they go around projecting their darkness on to others in the form of verbal, emotional and physical abuse.

And that’s usually how a “bully” is born…

I will be using the word bully throughout the p just so that I can make my point but once I’m done, it will be left behind…

What is a bully?

Bully is a word used to describe the behavior of a person who acts in negative, aggressive, unhealthy, toxic and destructive ways, towards themselves and those around them.

“And I came to believe that good and evil are names for what people do, not for what they are. All we can say is that this is a good deed, because it helps someone or that’s an evil one because it hurts them.” ~ Philip Pullman

The origin of the bullying behavior.

In many cases, the bullying behavior originates in childhood. Since children learn through imitation, bullying can be learned at home, in schools and even on the playground.

There are many parents who bully their children, teachers who bully their students and young children who bully other children.

Why do people “choose” to adopt the bullying behavior?

The irony is that many of the people who adopt the behavior of a bully have been bullied at one point in their lives and whether they realized it or not, they started treating others in the same way they themselves have been treated.

People who adopt a bullying behavior do so because at one point in their lives they were made to feel small and insignificant by the bullying behavior of others. Because of  those painful and traumatic experiences, they have come to believe that power comes from having control over others, from making people feel small and insignificant and from having control over others. 

One of my favorite quotes on this matter comes from Eckhart Tolle, the Author of one of my favorite books, The Power of Now: “”Power over others is weakness disguised as strength. True power if within, and it is available to you now.”

What can you do to help a “bully”

The first thing you can do is to remove the labels you have placed on them and start challenging their behavior but not the person. To look beyond appearances, into their hearts and see them for who they really are and not for who they pretend to be.

Behind their toxic and unhealthy behavior, behind the masks they are wearing, there is a scared, lonely and frightened person that is in desperate need of help and what these people need is forgiveness, nourishment, love and understanding.

Just look how beautifully Thích Nhất Hạnh talks about this: “When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending.”

If you happen to know anyone who has adopted the behavior of a bully and if you really want to be of service to them, you can by showing them that there is a better way to live their lives.

No need to despise them just because they weren’t as fortunate as you are. No need to despise them for not knowing how to love themselves, their lives and those around them as much as you do. Be the first person to bring light into their dark world.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King, Jr.

What can you learn from a “bully” ?

A “bully” can teach you to appreciate the contrast of life… to be thankful that you yourself know a better way of living your life.

A “bully” can teach you forgiveness, compassion, tolerance and kindness… how to act in loving ways towards those who are “good” but also towards those who aren’t.

From a “bully” you can learn one of the most beautiful and powerful life lessons, to offer love to people when they least deserve it, because that’s when they need it the most :)

What can you teach a “bully” ?

In the Tao Te Ching, the second most translated book in the world, Lao Tzu talks so beautifully about the importance of looking at everyone as either your student or your teacher. He is telling us that by doing so, no experience will ever be wasted: “What is a good man but a bad man’s teacher? What is a bad man but a good man’s job? If you don’t understand this, you will get lost, however intelligent you are. It is the great secret.” Lat Tzu, Tao Te Ching (500BC)

Only by treating these people with love, kindness and compassion will you be able to show them there is a better way for them to act and live their lives.

Judge less and help more. Lead by example.

Take the advice of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and treat people not as they are but as they ought to be and could be.

“If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

We are all in this together, whether we like it or not. The world belongs both to those who act in loving ways and also to those who aren’t. We all have something to teach one  another. We all have something to learn from each other.

Where there is a difficulty, there is also an opportunity to help, to grow and to give.

P.S. The word “bully” should be used to describe the actions and behaviors of a person but not to define and condemn that person to becoming that label.

With all my love,

Technology Fuels Cyberbullying and Cheating in Teens.


McAfee’s study “The Digital Divide: How the Online Behavior of Teens is Getting Past Parents” shows an alarming 70% of teens have hidden their online behavior from their parents, up from 45% in 2010. And yet half of parents live under the assumption that their teen tells them everything he/she does online.

The school year is now upon us. If you haven’t already, you will soon start packing up the kids to send them off to school. Outfitting your kids with new clothes are new technologies is often a big part of back to school preparations.

However, these technologies can have drawbacks and even some dangers that parents need to address: cyberbullying and cheating.

Cyberbullying

  • Almost 25% of teens claimed to be targets of cyber bullying and 2/3 of all teens have witnessed cruel behavior online
  • Only 10% of parents are aware of their teens are targets of cyber bullying
  • Facebook has become the new school yard for bullies with 92.6% of teens saying that cruel behavior takes place on Facebook, and 23.8% on Twitter, 17.7% on MySpace and 15.2% via Instant Messenger
  • When witnessing others being attacked, 40% of teens have told the person to stop, 21% have told an adult and 6% joined in
  • When being attacked themselves, 66% of teens responded to the attacker (with 35% responding in person), 15.4% avoided school, and an alarming 4.5% have been in a physical fight with their attacker

 

Cheating

  • Only 23% of parents express concern about their teen going online to cheat in school, yet nearly half of all teens (48%) admit they’ve looked up answers to a test or assignment online
  • 22% cheated specifically on a test via online or mobile phone; while only 5% of parents believed their children did this.
  • 15.8% of teens have admitted to cheating on a test by looking up answers on their phone yet only 3.2% of parents thought their teens cheated this way
  • 14.1% of teens admitted to looking up how to cheat on a test online
  • Overall, 77.2% of parents said they were not worried about their teens cheating online

Parents, you must stay in-the-know. Since your teens have grown up in an online world, they may be more online savvy than you, but you can’t give up. You must challenge yourself to become familiar with the complexities of the teen online universe and stay educated on the various devices your teens are using to go online.

As a parent, I proactively participate in my kids’ online activities and talk to them about the “rules of the road” for the Internet. I’m hoping that this report opens other parent’s eyes so they’ll become more involved in educating their teens with advice and tools

 

Source: http://blogs.mcafee.com