Feature Archive

Head Bangers

Contact sports put men at high risk of concussion.

WebMD Feature

Los Angeles resident Wilson Crasta awoke to find a spider in the corner of his bedroom ceiling. Crasta loathes spiders and rarely missed an opportunity to squish one. With his prey in sight, he rolled up a magazine and climbed onto a chair. As he reached back for the kill, one of the chair's legs snapped, causing him to fall backward and hit his head on the floor.

When Crasta came to, he found himself surrounded by firemen and paramedics stabilizing him for a trip to the emergency room. His war on arachnids landed him in the hospital as one of the 1 million Americans treated for a traumatic brain injury each year.

"They were trying to put the neck brace on me, and I flipped out because I had no idea who they were or what had just happened," Crasta said. "I started struggling with them -- I think I even kicked one of them in the face -- and I didn't really calm down until I saw my roommate in the corner telling me to relax. Needless to say, they strapped me down pretty tightly in the ambulance."

Seeing Stars

According to the Brain Injury Association, someone in the U.S. sustains a traumatic brain injury every 15 seconds. Vehicle crashes, falls, and sports injuries are the three leading causes. These injuries can leave victims with temporary or permanent cognitive and emotional problems, including memory loss, speech impairments, fatigue, and impulsive behavior.

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