MASON CITY, Iowa – It’s a word no one wants to hear: concussion. Today in sports, it’s one of the most feared injuries.
And concussions can lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. The degenerative disease was found in former Iowa Hawkeye Tyler Sash, who was found dead in his home in September at age 27. According to a study done on Sash’s brain at Boston University, the former safety had a CTE level of two on a scale of one to four. Dr. Ann Mckee who conducted the study said she had only seen levels of CTE that high in one other patient that young.
One local physical therapist says concussions are diagnosed more today, and there are more people being trained to spot and treat them early.
“Coaches are starting to understand they go through a process now where they look for signs and symptoms more,” Regional Athletic Training Coordinator at Athletico Physical Therapy Joe Bedford. “And more athletic trainers are being hired by schools and colleges to be on the sidelines for athletes.”
Bedford also says there has been a lot of progress in recent years on how to diagnose and treat concussions, and it starts before athletes hit the field.
“We do baseline testing now with all of our affiliates and that’s been a really good thing to have a healthy score and compare it to post concussive event,” Bedford said.