LORAS COLLEGE- “I don’t remember anything,” Senior soccer player Austin Jacobi stated this on Thursday afternoon.
Jacobi is talking about his head to head hit he had during a soccer game that resulted in a very serious injury.
Loras College Neuroscience Professor, Jake Kurczek, looks into Jacobi’s injury, “It’s the neurons shutting down, so it’s your brain turning off and then kind of rebooting itself.”
It’s an injury that doesn’t have any physical effects. The injury is a concussion or minor traumatic brain injury.
Kurczek goes deeper into the explanation of a concussion, “The damage is in the function of the cells communicating to each other that’s why it’s really hard to put someone in a scanner and look at their brain and say oh they have a concussion.”
The damage is just as real as a broken bone and has to be treated with therapy and rest.
“It’s really tough for athletes because one of the most difficult things for a concussion is physical activity,” Kurczek knows that it is difficult for an athlete to come off the field but he stresses the importance behind taking a break.
Not only can they not play but athletes also have to take a break from a lot of other activities according to Kurczek, “Not exercising, you have to avoid electronics and kind of thinking hard about things. So as student athletes it’s really tough because you can’t read books, you can’t Instant Message, you can’t do all the things that seem like relaxing activities.”
Jacobi has struggled with the relaxing, “It’s tough because obviously I still have school, I still have classes.”
But for Austin, it seems that slow progression is the only way to go, “The first couple days I felt really slow. I felt like things around me were just moving slow. I felt like I wasn’t completely there, but I have gotten rid of those symptoms so that’s a plus but still have a headache, I still am struggling with that.
No athlete wants to sit on the sidelines and watch but when the brain comes into play, it’s just something that has to be taken seriously. Jacobi has realized this and can’t wait to get back on the field, “It’s still fun to be a part of, I still love being at practice, I just really wish I was on the other end and not watching.”