Playing in Super Bowl XLVIII is such a dream for some football players they they don't care if it results in a head concussion that costs them everything. Fanatix reported on Jan. 31 that the Denver Bronchos receiver Wes Welker is one such football fanatic, insisting he is willing to play in the big game even with a concussion if the NFL will let him. But if S100B testing were conducted on the sidelines after an injury it could help Welker and other football players know more certainly if they are risking their lives by playing after a field head injury or not, according to the latest sports medicine news from Med Page Today.
If the blood brain barrier integrity is lost during a head injury, an astrocytic protein can be released as a result, giving physicians one way to measure the possibility that a Super Bowl player should not be sent back into the game even if he appears to be suffering no obvious loss to mental faculties.
Taking blood from the athlete from the side of the field immediately after an injury occurs could help the player and his team determine if he is fit to return to the game or should be made to sit out the remainder of it for the sake of his own health.
Concussions of the head are serious injuries that should not be taken lightly, as the NFL has learned. But when you have players like the Denver Broncho receiver Wes Welker eager to finally see Super Bowl XLVIII glory after getting sidelined due to concussions in the past, a more thorough way to check his health from the stadium sidelines is important.
Cleveland Clinic researchers led by Damir Janigro, PhD found in one study that 67 players experienced elevated S100B levels after having multiple subconcussive head hits. And he thinks that the use of S100B testing on football field sidelines could be a way to help prevent players from engaging in behavior that could permanently affect their future cognitive abilities.
It's a shame that with all the money poured into Super Bowl ads, player salaries, and football team owners' pockets, that some of the income made from this sport has not went into protecting its athletes more with such a test. And a test that could have been used this year on behalf of Denver Bronco's Wes Welker for Super Bowl XLVIII.