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PSY FPX 7310 Assessment 4 Traumatic Brain Injuries

Name

Capella University

PSY FPX 7310 Biological Basis of Behavior

Prof. Name

Date

Abstract

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) present an escalating issue in modern society, predominantly stemming from sports activities. Among TBIs, mild concussions from moderate head-to-head contact are the most frequently diagnosed, presenting as headaches, dizziness, or mild nausea. While some TBIs are relatively minor, repetitive head trauma—common in professional American football, boxing, and hockey—can lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a neurodegenerative disease. This paper delves into the accountability for concussions, examines the effects and potential coping strategies for CTE, and discusses ethical dilemmas faced by medical and psychological professionals. Enhanced scrutiny in the fields of safety and neurological care is necessary to address the increasing complexity of brain-related injuries.

Introduction

Contemporary athletes often risk their well-being in pursuit of sporting excellence. In sports such as football and boxing, frequent head impacts can result in traumatic brain injuries, particularly chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE, characterized by repetitive brain trauma, leads to progressive neurological deterioration. This paper explores the triggers of CTE, its emotional repercussions, and the societal challenges in effectively aiding affected individuals.

The Interplay of Emotion and Behavior

Emotions, whether positive or negative, are subjective reactions to events or situations, influencing behavior. The amygdala, located in the brain’s limbic system, governs emotional processing and bodily responses. Research indicates a correlation between emotions and behaviors, influenced by hormonal pathways linking the amygdala and hypothalamus. While negative emotions often correlate with adverse behaviors, prosocial behaviors like empathy also stem from emotional responses.

Exploring Traumatic Brain Injuries and CTE

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) encompass alterations in brain function caused by external forces, prevalent in sports, battlefields, or accidents. Annually, approximately 1.7 million individuals seek medical attention for TBIs, with 2% of Americans experiencing TBI-related symptoms daily. Concussions, a common TBI subtype, are especially significant in sports, with an estimated 1.6-3.8 million occurrences annually in athletic contexts. The responsibility for TBI consequences remains contentious, with arguments for athlete autonomy balanced against the duty of care owed by sports organizations.

Understanding the Impact of CTE on Emotions and Behaviors

CTE, primarily affecting professional American football and boxing athletes, results from repetitive head trauma. Unlike concussions, CTE’s onset is not directly linked to single traumatic events. Instead, the accumulation of tau proteins leads to neurofibrillary tangles, causing symptoms such as memory loss, cognitive decline, and emotional instability. Behavioral changes, including impulsivity and aggression, often manifest years after repeated head trauma, posing significant challenges for diagnosis and management.

Ethical Challenges in Addressing CTE and Traumatic Brain Injuries

Ethical considerations are paramount in managing traumatic brain injuries, particularly in athletics, where notions of resilience often prevail. Honest communication among athletes, coaches, and medical professionals is crucial for ensuring proper treatment and safeguarding against harm. Professional sports organizations face ethical imperatives to prioritize athlete welfare and minimize risks, balancing competitive ambitions with long-term health concerns.

Evidence-Based Interventions and Coping Mechanisms for CTE

Patients with TBIs can access various interventions aimed at restoring cognitive function and emotional well-being. Brain Injury Coping Skills groups, facilitated by psychoeducators and psychotherapists, provide stress management and problem-solving strategies. Evidence suggests that group-based interventions enhance coping skills and functional outcomes, underscoring the importance of holistic approaches to TBI rehabilitation.

Conclusion

Traumatic brain injuries are a pressing issue in sports, ranging from mild concussions to debilitating conditions like CTE. Advances in neuroscience and heightened awareness of injury risks have prompted proactive measures in athlete safety and rehabilitation. By prioritizing prevention and comprehensive care, society aims to create a safer environment for athletes, emphasizing long-term well-being over short-term gains.

PSY FPX 7310 Assessment 4 Traumatic Brain Injuries

References

Backhaus, S., Ibarra, S., Klyce, D., Trexler, L., & Malec, J. (2010). Brain injury coping skills group: A preventative intervention for patients with brain injury and their caregivers. Archives of Physical Medicine Rehabilitation, 91, 840.

Boren, C. (2018). A new study shows that hits to the head, not concussions, cause CTE. Washington: WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Post. Retrieved from http://library.capella.edu/login?qurl=https%3A%2F%2Fsearch.proquest.com%2Fdocview%2F1988839360%3Faccountid%3D27965

Brain Injury Research Institute. (2020). What is a concussion. Retrieved from https://www.protectthebrain.org/Brain-Injury-Research/What-is-a-Concussion-.aspx

Hein, S., Röder, M., & Fingerle, M. (2018). The role of emotion regulation in situational empathy‐related responding and prosocial behavior in the presence of negative affect. International Journal of Psychology, 53, 477-485. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002.ijop.12405

Pachman, S., & Lamba, A. (2017). Legal aspects of concussion: The ever-evolving standard of care. Journal of Athletic Training, 52(3), 186–194. https://doi.org/10.4085/1062-6050-52.1.03

PSY FPX 7310 Assessment 4 Traumatic Brain Injuries

Tharmaratnam, T., Iskandar, M. A., Tabobondung, T. C., Tobbia, I., Gopee-Ramanan, P., & Tabobondung, T. A. (2018). Chronic traumatic encephalopathy in professional American football players: Where are we now? Frontiers in Neurology, 9, 445. https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2018.00445

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