Concussions
It’s not just a football problem
“The Concussion Crisis,” by Linda Carroll and David Rosner

Concussions are among the most serious injuries facing athletes, especially if they happen multiple times. Journalists Linda Carroll and David Rosner argue that concussions can be detrimental to athletes, particularly kids. “Thinking could be slowed, attention dulled, judgement impaired, memory muddled.” In their book, you can read about kids and professional athletes who have suffered concussions and about the scientists working to understand the long-term effects of head injuries. “What drove researchers was a need to explain the haunting stories of National Football League players who slipped into early-onset dementia before they even hit middle age.” Parents can learn what signs to look for if they suspect a concussion. The authors point out that concussions can occur in any sport, including football, soccer, cheerleadering, volleyball, gymnastics. Professional athletes may hesitate to report concussion-like symptoms if it means they’ll be pulled from a game, but Carroll and Rosner believe that the pros need to set the example for all the young players out there.

Whitney Fetterhoff

disease
Want to test your genes?
Genetic Testing Registry, National Institutes of Health

Ever thought about getting your genes checked out? A registry of genetic-test information has been launched by the National Institutes of Health. NIH says the tool is designed to clear the fog of confusion that surrounds genetic tests for disease.

About 2,500 diseases can be detected by such tests, according to the NIH. The Genetic Testing Registry will provide free information about them to researchers, clinicians and curious individuals.

Searching for a specific condition, for example, can bring up the genetic tests available for it. Users can then find out more about the labs that run the tests.

The information will be provided voluntarily by the test providers to help people to understand which tests are available and how they work.

New Scientist