cover image The Concussion Crisis: Anatomy of a Silent Epidemic

The Concussion Crisis: Anatomy of a Silent Epidemic

Linda Carroll and David Rosner. Simon & Schuster, $26 (384p) ISBN 978-1-4516-2722-0

On the heels of the recent deaths of NHL player Derek Boogaard and NFL safety Dave Duerson involving possible brain trauma, this book detailing the current plague of sports-related concussions, written by health writer Carroll and sports scribe Rosner, is a very hot topic. The authors cite estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that there are 1.6 million to 3.8 million sports-related concussions every year. With more than 44 million girls and boys playing organized sports, the writers spell out the dire consequences of impact games without proper safety measures. They provide grisly statistics and cautionary examples of schoolchildren and sports figures such as big league football stars Troy Aikman, hockey star Pat LaFontaine, and boxer Jerry Quarry, who have compromised health after a life of competition and concussions. The authors recount how scientists have come to understand the danger concussions pre-sent%E2%80%94ranging from memory loss to impaired judgment and dementia%E2%80%94and note that although treatments and research in brain injuries are showing promise, prevention is the best way to protect both child and adult athletes. This noteworthy book issues a challenge to the "macho play-through-the pain" sports culture and urges a rethinking of safety versus spectacle. (Sept.)