eli5: subconcussive hits relating to CTE question


A lingering question relating to CTE that I was hoping someone could answer for me is whether there is a difference between getting hit in average day to day life, such as a basketball hitting your head or bumping your head on a door compared to the hits in football. Is it the acceleration and deceleration that is unique to a sport like football? or is it the frequency of any hits like day to day ones? Or is it a combination? Any responses would be helpful

In: 6

Concussions and sub-concussive trauma both cause short term damage to the brain, but they may also result in long term damage such as CTE or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. The key question is how to avoid this long term damage and which is the more major cause. – https://youtu.be/k7BdLyB-Duc

I imagine football will be much worse in terms of frequency and severity. Everyone is going to hit their head from time to time in everyday situations and it’s really not worth worrying about. If it were that easy to get CTE then we’d all have it.

Going for the ELI5 approach.
Your brain is a really just a big puddle of very important Jello floating within the skull in water (CSF). A simple bump on a closed door to the skull doesn’t generate enough force to affect the brain hardly (even repeatedly); whereas, running full speed into really any object head-first is much more likely to have some sequela.

Consider this: Put Jello in a closed container of water and tap the cup against something (even a few times). The Jello isn’t hardly affected. Now, drop the container on the ground. The Jello will likely bounce off the ceiling, then maybe bottom, of the cup (coup/contre-coup). In a similar fashion, the brain can be affected – perhaps just a bit more noticeably with the brain.