Fast Talk Episode 148: The Causes and Effects of Concussions and TBIs, with Dr. Steven Broglio and Timmy Duggan

*Join this conversation about Fast Talk Episode 148: The Causes and Effects of Concussions and TBIs, with Dr. Steven Broglio and Timmy Duggan.

The Causes and Effects of Concussions and TBIs, with Dr. Steven Broglio and Timmy Duggan

Until 2006, it was common to chuckle at head injuries, tell athletes to walk it off, and send them back into the game. The national conversation changed in 2006 after the autopsy of Mike Webster, former Pittsburgh Steelers lineman, which led to the discovery of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).

Concussions and traumatic brain injuries are far too common in cycling. In this Fast Talk episode, we define the causes, effects, management, and preventative measures with guidance from Dr. Steven Broglio and personal stories from Timmy Duggan and Hannah Finchamp.

Head injuries are becoming increasingly diagnosed among the two-wheeled crowd.

One study cited in this episode found that cyclists make up about 19% of all sports and recreation-related concussions.

What’s more, there’s a good deal of misunderstanding about what exactly the terms concussion and TBI mean. Are they the same or very different? How should you manage each condition? What are the potential long-term repercussions of concussions, if any? We’ll tackle all of these questions, and many more, in this episode.

We turn to Dr. Steven Broglio, the director of the University of Michigan Concussion Center and the director of the NeuroTrauma Research Laboratory, for guidance on this complex subject.

Dr. Broglio has spent much of his adult life studying the causes of concussion, the effects of concussion on the brain, the short- and long-term concerns, the best course of management, and the use of helmets. His experience and knowledge on the matter make for a compelling discussion. (Furthermore, he’s also a former elite cyclist, so he is able to come at this discussion from that angle as well.)

Dr. Broglio discusses topics like:

  • Popular perception of concussions and the scientific reality: The average time for full recovery from concussion is actually 2-4 weeks.
  • How media and films portray concussion’s long-term effects and contradictions with science
  • How diagnosis and treatment have improved since 2006
  • What it looks and feels like to suffer a concussion
  • How sports team management of head injuries affects recovery time
  • How medical professionals use SCAT5 screener questions and a motor exam to diagnose concussions
  • A new blood test that may help diagnose the presence of a TBI
  • How medical teams can quickly evaluate professional cyclists for concussion—and safer ways to get them back into the race
  • How an athlete’s mental-emotional state and their support network affects perception of their injury—and their actual recovery
  • Exercise—not rest—as an effective treatment for concussion
  • Do helmets work? In football? In cycling? MIPS and WaveCel? Virginia Tech’s Helmet Rating method.
  • Linear vs. rotational concussions from sheering and twisting

Add to that the conversations we include with Timmy Duggan and Hannah Finchamp, two athletes who have each suffered head injuries.

Timmy’s story is well-known: While racing at the Tour of Georgia, he was involved in a horrific crash which led to a severe traumatic brain injury. He shares his experience, from the injury to the acute aftermath and rehabilitation, to the long-term and psychological impact the injury had on his life. You’ll hear from him throughout the episode–including how what he learned from his injury actually improved his racing.

And Hannah walks us through how being hit by a car led to her concussion, and how that impacted her training and life.

Do you have experience with TBI or concussion? How did Dr. Broglio’s guidance during the episode sit with you?

1 Like

A Fast Talk listener who has suffered three cycling-related brain injuries reached out to me to spread the word about her organization devoted to helping people heal and recover from traumatic brain injuries. It’s called Beacon of Hope TBI.

For more information, see:

1 Like