Narrator: This is Science Today. Each year
there are about 300 thousand sports-related concussions
in this country - about a third of them occurring
on the football field. But it hasn't been until
fairly recently that doctors realized even getting
knocked around without losing consciousness can
injure the brain. Martin Holland, a clinical professor
of neurosurgery at the University of California,
San Francisco says researchers now also realize
that one concussion increases the chances of getting
a second one, which can lead to second impact syndrome.
Holland: The post-concussive syndrome after
second impact injury can be more severe. The recovery
after the second injury is longer. That's one of
the reasons why we don't want to let athletes go
back too soon, because this is well established,
especially in the younger populations.
Narrator: Studies in the past found more
than half of high school football players returned
to the game the same day as a loss of consciousness.
Holland: We have to educate - educate trainers,
educate coaches, educate parents and educate the
players themselves in terms of somebody should realize
'look, I've just got my bell rung, I'm gonna stay
out of the next couple of games.'
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa