First doctor to link brain disorders to head trauma says no high-impact sports until after 18

Dr Bennet Omalu has a suggestion that he thinks will work to combat concussion and degenerative brain disorders for athletes

The NFL has been under scrutiny for the last number of years based on their policy on concussion and the high-impact of the sport. The powers that be have changed the rules to outlaw tackles leading with the helmet but Dr Bennet Omalu believes more has to be done to inform kids as to what they are getting themselves into by playing the sport.

Dr. Omalu, the first doctor to link head trauma to neurological brain disorder believes that children should not be allowed to play high-impact sports until they have reached 18 years of age and can decide for themselves whether they want to take the risk or not.

In a column published in the New York Times, Dr. Omalu outlines why and how these head traumas affect people who suffer repeated traumas to the head.

The degeneration of neurons is what leads to brain disorders including dementia and depression. Dr. Omalu says, "We are born with a certain number of neurons. We can only lose them; we cannot create new neurons to replenish old or dying ones."

Dr. Bennet Omalu makes a compelling case, "We have a legal age for drinking alcohol; for joining the military; for voting; for smoking; for driving; and for consenting to have sex. We must have the same when it comes to protecting the organ that defines who we are as human beings."

There has already been a shift from American football towards European football in the States and the NFL is aware that the history of their sport will be shaped massively by how this plays out over the next couple of years. If what Dr. Omalu is suggesting actually happens, you can expect to see a response from the league. 

 The movie Concussion starring Will Smith, which came out earlier in the year, covers the entire issue including Dr Omalu's initial discoveries and the hassle he has faced in uncovering his findings.