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Dr. Andrew Huberman and Neurosurgeon Dr. Gary Steinberg Unveil a Link Between Tackle Sports and Concussions in Kids

Radha Iyer

Dr. Andrew Huberman and Neurosurgeon Dr. Gary Steinberg Unveil a Link Between Tackle Sports and Concussions in Kids

With the athletic world growing and new athletes emerging every day, it’s no secret that the training to become a successful athlete starts at an impressionable age. What then comes up as a concerning subject in the field is the kind of injury kids could sustain that might affect their future. Neuroscientist Dr. Andrew Huberman and neurosurgeon Dr. Gary Steinberg addressed this topic recently.

In his podcast, Huberman aimed to discuss brain health and the subjects surrounding it with the neurosurgeon, who also happens to be the founder of the Stanford Stroke Center. One of the key categories to talk about was concussions and other injuries in children who took up sports early on.

In certain sports like tackle football, boxing, soccer, and many others, prolonged periods of sustained injuries could lead to serious consequences. Huberman asked if his colleague would want his kids to play these sports to which Steinberg admitted he wouldn’t.

Such sports carry a lot of risks, both in terms of injury and life quality despite having general advantages. Young athletes are also at a higher risk of suffering from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy due to constant hits to their heads over time.

“I feel like if sport is not your profession, the risk-benefit analysis is pretty clear…unless you’re going to get paid substantial amounts of money, and maybe even then, it’s probably not worth it.”

But sports set aside, the dangers of suffering from a concussion are not limited to the boundaries of a field. Sometimes people might get injured while performing their daily tasks, and Dr. Steinberg spoke about that risk.

“I don’t think you need to worry in general, especially if your symptoms resolve within a relatively short period of time.”

Therefore, the real danger seems to come from consistent trauma to the head over years of practice. That’s why sports like tackle football or boxing, even with the safety gear and helmet, could lead to worsened injuries. Previously, brain disorder specialist Dr. Daniel Amen also talked about a similar situation.

Dr. Daniel Amen Once Expressed a Dislike for Boxing

During his conversation with Dr. Steinberg, Huberman exasperatedly wondered why one would choose to box as a sport. Speaking along similar lines, Dr. Amen also considered boxing to be one of the worst sports out there due to the grave risks it carried.

Icons like Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali also showed signs of internal injuries that they sustained over the years due to the sport. Even with the helmets, Dr. Amen reasoned that brains are ultimately suspended in cerebrospinal fluid that shakes and impacts the brain upon any hit. If continued for a longer time, this could lead to long-term damage to the delicate organ.

About the author

Radha Iyer

Radha Iyer


Radha Iyer is a US Sports writer at The SportsRush. With a Master's degree in Media and Communication, and a background in content creation and production, sports journalism has been a part and parcel of her demonstrated history in the said field. Olympic sports hold a special place in her heart, and she is particularly interested in sports like track and field, gymnastics, and swimming. She also draws inspiration from legendary athletes like Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Simone Biles, and many more.

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