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New proposal introduced to prevent concussions

Posted: 9:02 PM, Feb 05, 2016
Updated: 2016-02-06 02:02:54Z

INDIANAPOLIS -- Numbers from Mayo Clinic show more than 3 million people suffer from a concussion every year. It's a traumatic injury that can change the way the brain functions. 

Researchers continue to study the long-term impacts of the injury. But there's concern about the risk for repeated concussions in children. 

That's why an effort is underway to try to prevent the traumatic brain injury among the youngest players in the gym and on the field. 

A Noblesville man is spear-heading the effort at the Statehouse, after losing his brother to a disease believed to be directly linked to concussions. 

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Dave Duerson was a standout football player in the NFL. He suffered from CTE. And in 2011, he took his own life. 

"Losing my brother was really tough. But at age 18, I suffered a concussion playing basketball for IUPUI. It left me with paralysis on one side for 6 months, has affected me more as I get older, psychological and neurological problems," Michael Duerson said. 

Michael Duerson is working closely with Senator Tim Lanane on a proposed change in a law to require all middle and high school coaches of every sport to undergo concussion training. 

It's something IU Sports Medicine Physician Dr. John Baldea thinks is a good idea, given concerns about the impact to younger athletes who tend to have longer recoveries. 

"The more awareness and the more education out there, the better. Because the more parents you have, the more coaches you have that are trained to look for what might occur as a symptom of concussion, the safer the kids will be," Baldea said. 

Michael Duerson suffered his concussion at age 18. After being named one of the top African-American engineers in the country, he is now unable to work or drive. 

He says he does not want anyone else to go through this. 

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