Caring for your cranium

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Concussions are the most common type of brain injury. But there are other injuries that affect as many as 1.7 million people.

A brain contusion is a bruise on the brain that may have to be surgically removed, and a diffuse axonal injury is when the head is moved with such force that it is torn from the brain stem.

Thankfully there are ways you can protect your noggin from getting knocked!

Professional MMA fighter Rudy Morales knows the importance of protecting your brain.

“For anybody who’s watching that is also a fighter, they’re tough and they have heart like me, you shouldn’t just get hit, because it’s your health on the line,” Morales said.

But that doesn’t just apply to athletes. The most common cause of traumatic brain injury is falls, followed by car accidents. Falls can happen at any age, but you can lower your risk by using skid-proof rugs, keeping rooms free of clutter and making sure stairs are well lit. Do you use a helmet every time you ride your bike? Ninety-seven percent of cycling deaths occurred to people who were not wearing helmets. But does it matter where you hit your head?

“We know that there are specific areas of the brain that seem to be vulnerable to injury,” Dr. Charles Bernick, MD, MPH at the Cleveland Clinic said.

If you hit the side of your head, it is more likely to rotate and cause tears. One study tested cheap and expensive helmets and found that their performance was almost identical; so you don’t have to spend big bucks to protect your brain.

You probably wouldn’t be surprised to hear that football has the highest rate of concussions in sports. But did you know that hockey comes in second? Followed by girls soccer. By the way, the FDA just approved the first blood test for concussions.

Contributors to this news report include: Hayley Hudson, Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer and Editor.

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