Concussion Dangers

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Tallahassee, FL - Amber Eagen can remember the first time she got a concussion. It was two years ago during a basketball game. She took an elbow to the head and dropped to the floor.

"I had never gotten one before," Eagen said. "And I didn't know how bad it was. I hear about concussions, but you never really know what it's like until you go through it."

Eagen, a sophomore at Maclay, has had two more concussions since then, all sustained while playing basketball.

"I'd like to go out and play again," she said. "But, honestly...I'm scared."

Eagen has dealt with varying effects such as migraines and mood swings.

"I guess I thought it wouldn't happen to me again. Basketball is something that I love. Everyone in my family loves it."

Doctor Jacob VanLandingham is a professor at Florida State. He has studied concussions for 16 years.

"I think our biggest concern is really in our youth," he said. "The reason is just like your bones don't stop growing until your 18, the brain doesn't stop developing until your early 20s."

VanLandingham said multiple concussions can lead to problems with memory, cognition and attention, among other effects.

"It's not a guarantee that that's going to happen," he said. "I don't want to scare anybody. Our whole goal is to make players safer and to develop a treatment that can reduce the chances of having these negative outcomes."

Eagen hasn't given up sports completely. She plays for Maclay's varsity softball team. And when she's in the field, Eagen can't always protect herself, but she is more aware.

"I never should have gone back in that game I had a second one," Eagen said. "I think just being more cautious in general about them would help."

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