When small children suffer head trauma, it is often difficult to judge the severity, and in many cases, a parent might not even realize that a child suffered such an injury. If there is no evidence of a bump, bruise or laceration, brain injuries may go unnoticed. Fortunately, Ontario parents can prevent most head injuries by using proper car seats, seat belts and cycling helmets while many steps can be taken to make the home child-safe.
Brain Injury Canada says about one million Canadians live with some type of brain injury. The negligence of others caused many of those brain injuries. Car accidents, sports injuries, violence and trip or slip-and-fall accidents are often alleged to have been caused by others when personal injury lawsuits are filed in the civil courts of Ontario.
Although there have been significant advances in various medical fields, the brain remains a dark area. Dr. Adrian Owen, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience and Imaging at the Brain and Mind Institute at Western University, Ontario says the manners in which different types of brain injuries affect the victims need continued research. These mysteries were underscored again with the recent death of a police officer who was unresponsive for 30 years.
More and more athletes in Ontario and other provinces and territories want action to be taken by sports authorities to prevent head injuries. Many ex-participants in contact sports suffer the long-term consequences of multiple brain injuries caused by concussions. Arland Bruce is one victim who is now fighting for compensation of concussion-related damages.
The Alzheimer Society says over 564,000 people in Ontario and other provinces and territories in Canada have dementia. Reportedly, Alzheimer's is one of over 1,000 diseases, injuries and disorders that affect the brain. Canadians are said to be leaders among the world's top researchers. They are seeking more information to help them to understand all the intricate workings of the brain as well as the potential disorders and brain injuries that affect it.
Concussions are a potentially severe health problem. This issue has persisted for decades because even with all the medical and scientific advances, the fact that concussions are brain injuries that could have long-term consequences is often ignored. This misconception has not changed much over the past 30-odd years. The wife of an Ontario man who suffered an undiagnosed brain injury in 1983 explained the family's suffering since then.
Although youth hockey leagues have established measures to prevent hockey players from returning to the ice too soon after concussions, ongoing research into sports-related brain injuries indicates that existing protocols may not provide enough protection. Doctors at Western University in Ontario say they studied detailed images of the brains of 15-year-old hockey players who had suffered concussions. What they found showed that players were cleared to play while they were still experiencing aftereffects of the brain injuries.
There is no lack of concern and effort to protect young athletes in Ontario and elsewhere from suffering head trauma during participation in sports activities. Various studies are carried out to find the best ways to prevent brain injuries. Although baseline testing has become a trusted method to prevent athletes from returning too soon after concussions, the results of a recent University of Windsor study indicate that more than half of baseline tests are invalid.
Pending Royal Assent, schools and coaches will soon have to comply with a new Ontario law that aims to protect athletes from suffering concussions. Rowan's Law will change the safety culture around concussions, which are often not recognized as brain injuries. The law arose from the 2013 death of the 17-year-old rugby player, Rowan Stringer, who suffered a fatal head injury after several prior concussions.
Studies to determine the damage done by head injuries suffered by athletes have mostly been conducted after their deaths. Researchers at McMaster University in Ontario changed that. They studied retired football players for the effects of brain injuries caused by repeated concussions. Their findings followed a significant range of tests and sophisticated scanning of the brains of the subjects.