pixabay (CC0)

Series: The Science Of Brain Health

Scientists are still developing a better understanding of brain health and maladies from concussions to Alzheimer's disease, but it's clear that all stages of life can have significant consequences for the human body's most complex organ. Brain health plays a role in everyday wellness challenges elderly adults face, and as Wisconsin's overall population ages, research and public-health efforts promoting well-being and quality of life are focusing on issues like degenerative neural diseases and strokes. At the same time, the medical community is becoming more concerned about threats to younger and middle-aged people's brain health, especially when it comes to devastating effects of athletics-related injuries, whether in high-school competitions or professional sports. Whatever the circumstances, the condition of the brain has myriad effects on both physical and mental health.
 
Wisconsin's affinity for alcohol — and the drug's complicated cultural impact on the state — can in many ways be explained by a few straightforward biochemical processes.
Children who suffer abuse or neglect or who live in dysfunctional homes often carry the burdens of these experiences into adulthood. Behavioral health professionals call these ordeals "adverse childhood experiences," or ACEs.
A sweeping shift over the past few decades in the practice of behavioral health has come to be known as trauma-informed care, an approach adopted by dozens of counties and tribes in Wisconsin.
UW-Madison student-athletes were diagnosed with 137 concussions from 2014 to 2018, according to records from an ongoing NCAA and U.S. Department of Defense concussion study.
The gridiron is not the only venue where athletics-related concussions can occur — every sport includes some risk of fall or collision that can result in a blow to the head.
Young children inevitably fall as they learn what they can do physically and experiment with their limits. If a fall results in a blow to the head, the child may have sustained a traumatic brain injury.
If a student-athlete is eager to get back on the field after a blow to the head, who is holding them back and how are they held accountable?
The symptoms and causes of strokes can vary widely, but it's always crucial to get victims medical help as quickly as possible.
Despite the universality of sleep, the purpose of this biological imperative remains somewhat shrouded in mystery.
Debra Pyka did not know the true risks of football when she decided to allow her three sons to play youth tackle football.