Are new “concussion rules” enough to curb neurological damage to players?

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New estimate: Concussions will cost NFL $1.4 Billion

Lawyers representing former NFL players now estimate that payouts to players who experienced concussion-related brain trauma will top $1.4 billion, $400 million more than was previously estimated in their January 2017 settlement with the league. The settlement resolved thousands of lawsuits accusing the NFL of hiding what it knew about the risks of repeated concussions.

“The settlement covers retired players who develop Lou Gehrig’s disease, dementia or other neurological problems believed to be caused by concussions suffered during their pro careers, with awards as high as $5 million for the most serious cases,” says Dr. Michael Lewis, founder of the Brain Health Education and Research Institute and author of When Brains Collide: What Every Athlete and Parent Should Know about the Prevention and Treatment of Concussions and Head Injuries.

“The unfavorable publicity triggered by the players’ claims put the NFL under a microscope and forced them to review their concussion protocol and adopt new rules and procedures aimed at lessening concussion risk and improving player safety.”

What is a concussion?

A concussion unfolds in two phases, says Dr. Lewis. The first phase is the primary injury, where the brain tissues are violently thrown against the inside of the skull, whether the head hit the windshield or helmet-to-helmet contact on the football field, a soccer ball strike, or a fall.

Dr. Lewis says that the primary injury changes the way the brain functions and brings about a secondary injury which can be far more devastating: a biochemical cascade triggered by the initial impact that can go on for months and create dangerous conditions in the brain such as oxygen deprivation and inflammation or excess fluid in the cranium.

Who gets concussions?

Out of the 3 to 4.5 million concussions every year, nearly 2,000,000 are children aged nineteen or younger who are treated in emergency rooms for sports and recreational-related head trauma. The list for sports-related brain trauma includes soccer, hockey, lacrosse, wrestling, playgrounds, bicycles, skateboards, horseback riding, and falls. Though the number of reported sports-related concussions is sobering, it’s only a fraction of the concussions in children that go unreported, says Dr. Lewis.

What are concussion symptoms?

The most common symptoms are headaches, brain fog, fatigue, lack of energy, personality and mood changes, anxiety, and irritability. Sometimes symptoms may not be readily apparent for days or even a couple weeks, says Dr. Lewis.

Using Fish Oil to address concussion and brain injury:

The brain is made of fat, and about 30 percent of that fat is what are called omega-3 fatty acids, says Dr. Lewis. We’ve found if we saturate the brain with what it is made of we can help create the nutritional foundation making it possible for the brain to heal itself.

Using Hemp-derived CBD oil to address post- concussion depression & anxiety:

Like fish oil, CBD oil not only helps protect the brain from injury, but we’ve observed that it is also highly effective in alleviating post-concussion depression and anxiety. Because it is derived from hemp, it is available as a nutritional supplement without prescription,” says Dr. Lewis.

“Our clinic has had success with PlusCBD oil from CV Sciences, an extracted oil containing high concentrations of CBD and over 500 other biochemical compounds found in the hemp plant.”


1. What is a concussion, and how is it treated?

2. What is the NFL doing to reduce the number of player concussions and prevent long-term neurological damage caused by repeated helmet to helmet contact?

3. When did you become aware that the omega-3 essential fatty acids in fish oil could be effective in treating concussions and serious brain injuries?

4. How much fish oil should a concussion victim take after experiencing head trauma?

5. You’ve recently begun to administer CBD oil as an additional nutritional tool to help alleviate the anxiety and depression experienced by brain trauma victims. Tell us more.

6. How can listeners get more information on what we’ve been discussing?


Dr. Michael D. Lewis is an expert on nutritional and holistic interventions for brain health, particularly the use of omega-3 fatty acids for the prevention, management, and rehabilitation of concussions and traumatic brain injury (TBI). He founded the Brain Health Education and Research Institute ( in late 2011 upon retiring as a Colonel after a distinguished thirty-one-year career in the US Army. His pioneering work in the military and since has helped thousands of people around the world and is regularly featured in the media, including CNN’s Sanjay Gupta, MD, show and numerous radio shows and podcasts. A graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point and Tulane University School of Medicine, Dr. Lewis is board-certified and a fellow of the American Colleges of Preventive Medicine and Nutrition. He completed postgraduate training at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Johns Hopkins University, and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. He is currently in private practice in Potomac, Maryland (BrainCARE,; is a consultant to the US Army and Navy as well as several organizations, institutes, and nutrition companies around the world; and is a founding member of the Pop Warner Youth Football Medical Advisory Board.


In his breakthrough book, When Brains Collide: What Every Athlete and Parent Should Know about the Prevention and Treatment of Concussions and Head Injuries, Dr. Michael Lewis explains how therapeutic doses of omega-3 rich fish oil and hemp-derived CBD oil can effectively assist in the prevention, management, and healing of concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBI) whether suffered on the playground, on the highway, on the sports field, or on the battle field. His breakthrough nutrition-based protocol for brain health has helped thousands of patients who suffered head trauma, in some cases years after the injury occurred.


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