COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A lot has changed recently in the world of sports to help prevent concussions among athletes.
New rules are now in place for football and soccer players at the high school, collegiate and professional levels.
Tackle football has been known to cause traumatic brain injuries or concussions.
That's why head-to-head contact on the football field is no longer allowed at any level of the sport.
"Traumatic brain injury is where the brain is damaged or temporarily stunned as a result of a sudden jolt or tut or bolt of injury trauma to the head and brain," says Dr. NoJan Valadi, Chief of the Neurology Department at St. Francis Hospital.
Dr. Valadi says symptoms of a concussion include mild headaches, nausea, vomiting, disorientation and loss of consciousness.
"Short term can have some of those symptoms but those symptoms can last for weeks, months or even much longer," Dr. Valadi said.
Concussions, also known as Cognitive Traumatic Encephalopathy, can also carry risks for having attention deficit disorder, cognitive, mood, and behavioral disturbances and diseases like bipolar, depression and dementia, which is treatable according to Dr. Valadi.
"The key to treatment is we allow the brain to rest and recover. the worst thing that can happen is reinserting the student athlete or professional athlete back into a sitting for suffering more brain injuries," Dr. Valadi said.
Dr. Valadi says concussions can be managed through psychological therapy and monitoring the athlete to make sure they can return back to sports.