‘Head Games’ Documentary Reveals Extent of Concussion Crisis in Sports

Posted by | July 19, 2012 | News & Events | No Comments

A new documentary, “Head Games,” details the extent of the concussion crisis in sports and is described as a must-see for parents of young athletes, coaches and sports professionals.

The recently completed documentary was developed by acclaimed director Steve James (“Hoop Dreams,” “The Interrupters”) and award-winning producer Bruce Sheridan.

Christopher Nowinski

“Head Games,” which was inspired by events written in a book with the same title by former college football player and professional wrestler Christopher Nowinski, takes a deeper look at the devastating and long-term effects of concussions in all sports. The film offers eye-opening insight and cutting-edge science on head trauma from the nation’s leading medical experts.

While Nowinski serves as the film’s central character, it also weaves in stories about Alan Schwarz,  a Pulitzer Prize-nominated reporter at The New York Times who first exposed the seriousness of concussions among football players of all ages; Keith Primeau, a former National Hockey League All-Star player who had to retire due to concussions; and Cindy Parlow, a former Olympian and American professional soccer player who cited post-concussion syndrome for ending her career. A number of leading sports medicine physicians are also interviewed.

It’s estimated that every season, one in five U.S. athletes in a contact sport suffers a concussion and more than 3.5 million sports-and-related concussions occur each year in the United States.

Statistics from the Center for Disease Control show that the chance of a 30-49 year old man receiving a diagnosis of dementia, Alzheimer’s or another memory related disease is 1 in 1,000 and dramatically increases to 1 in 53 for an NFL retiree who is the same age.

One of the executive producers of “Head Games” is entrepreneur Steve Devick, the United States Sports Academy’s 2011 Dr. Ernst Jokl Sports Medicine Award for his role in developing the King-Devick Test. A leading method to measure saccadic eye movements and detect reading difficulties in children for 25 years, the King-Devick Test is now being used at sporting events to detect concussions in as few as 60 seconds by timing athletes as they read a series of numbers.

Devick helped to bring James aboard the documentary project as the director.

Look for the film to be released soon. Meanwhile, for more information about the film, please visit its website.

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