Routinely Take Precautions to Protect Your Brain

Whenever you engage in an activity that introduces the potential for head injury, use appropriate protective gear. Far and away, the most common cause of brain injury is a motor vehicle accident; failure to use a seat belt significantly increases the risk of serious injury. Participation in recreational sports and contact athletics also requires taking routine precautions. This means wearing a helmet when motorcycling, bicycling, in-line skating, rock climbing, hang gliding, and skiing. Helmets and mouth guards are essential for contact sports, such as football and ice hockey. A mouth guard reduces the risk of concussive injury in contact sports by deflecting forces from a blow to the chin or jaw that would otherwise reach the skull base. Mouth guards should also be used when playing soccer, basketball, and rugby or when engaging in martial arts, boxing, and wrestling.

Head trauma is a major cause of memory impairment in young 168, people and a risk factor for later development of dementia. Tak ing routine precautions to protect your brain from injury is one of the surest ways to protect your memory.

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