Science on Tap: Football & Concussions

The Kiggins Theater‘s next Science on Tap is about the growing evidence that playing tackle football—even with helmets—is bad for brains. Come on down to the theater at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 11, for “Should Humans Play Football? The Neuroscience of Concussions.” We humans have always loved dangerous sports, from ancient chariot racing all the way to today’s football, soccer, and hockey. Despite safety equipment, the sight of a player being checked for a head injury has become increasingly common. We now know that multiple concussions and similar injuries to the head can accelerate certain forms of dementia and lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). What does that mean for both professional athletes and for your kids who play on after school sports teams?

Dr. Larry Sherman is a neuroscientist at OHSU, and his lab has been exploring how the brain responds to certain types of injury and will explore the mechanisms underlying the brain’s responses to injury and possible ways to reverse brain damage. Dr. Sherman has spoken at several earlier Science on Tap events, including The Neuroscience of Pleasure and Love, Every Brain Needs Music, and You and Your Racist Brain: The Neuroscience of Prejudice—but at this event, he will be talking about his own research.

Science on Tap is a monthly lecture series at the Kiggins Theatre, offered in partnership with Via Productions (“Better Learning Through Beer”) and Washington State University Vancouver. The presentation starts at 7 p.m., but the Kiggins will open its doors at 6 p.m. so you can find a seat and purchase yummy refreshments: beer, wine, soda, pizza, and theater-style popcorn and candy. Tickets are $9 in advance (click here to purchase online, or check with the Kiggins’ box office) or $10 suggested donation at the door. Science on Tap is largely supported by money collected at the door, but no one will be turned away for lack of a few dollars. Come anyway and donate what you can! Buying a ticket in advance merely confirms that you will have a seat at the event.

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