Concussion expert tells George Hook why it's not just the big hits that should scare us

The Right Hook speak to Dr Robert Stern about CTE's causes and effects

Robert Stern

Dr Robert Stern (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

Over the last few years, there has been a growing understanding of the effects that concussion and repeated blows to the head have on athletes, particularly in American football and other contact sports.

The degenerative disease, Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), and its causes and impact on those who suffer from it have been highlighted in research papers and in movies such as Concussion.

Today in Boston, George Hook visited the Boston University Medical Centre and spoke to leading expert and Professor of Neurology Dr Robert Stern about the issue.

While there is a greater focus on reducing the big hits that occur in NFL, Stern also pointed towards other concerns. 

"The thing that scares me is not the big hits, not the ones that result in concussion, but the things that are inherent to the games. All those little hits, the things we refer to as sub-concussive trauma. We're just starting to get to know something about that," he explained.

"What I'm afraid of us is that those littler hits, one after another, a thousand times a season, is likely what starts this disease in motion, way before the person ever has symptoms."

Listen to the full interview on the podcast player.