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Roller Coasters and Brain Damage

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I have an uncle who did not let his daughters ride a roller coaster till after they were 16. One who just turned 16 has never ridden a roller coaster in her life. She lives about an hour or so from CP. Her mom is from down in this area near KI.


Notably, the linear and rotational components of head acceleration during roller coaster rides were milder than those induced by many common activities. As such, there appears to be an extremely low risk of TBI due to the head motions induced by roller coaster rides.


Even for a conservative worst-case scenario, we found that the highest estimated peak head accelerations induced by roller coasters were far below conventional levels that are predicted for head injuries. Accordingly, our findings do not support the contention that current roller coaster rides produce high enough forces to mechanically deform and injure the brain.


Historically, research dealing with head accelerations has come in two main areas. First, accelerations that are very short duration events occurring during direct or indirect head impacts. Second, longer duration accelerations that occur during events like flying an airplane. A third but much smaller set of data is available for events that fall between these two classic types of head acceleration. Simply reporting ”maximum g's” without a consideration of the duration, direction, or type of the acceleration does not provide an accurate description of the event, nor does it directly predict the likelihood of an injury.


In conclusion, SAH is a rare but relevant differential diagnosis in cases of acute headache during roller coaster rides. Both aneurysmal and non-aneurysmal perimesencephalic SAH can occur. A combination of mechanical factors and excessive blood pressure rises in vulnerable persons is discussed

I know this can be a "heady" conversation (pun intended). Depending on what the researchers looked at depends on their outcomes. It also goes back to previous conversations about SOB and asking what qualifies as a pre-existing condition. I linked to the articles and quoted from the abstracts. Feel free to read the entire articles to see how they analyzed the different variables.

I do wonder though that if Coasters continue to try to break different "records" will we eventually be causing brain damage to our selves. It looked like most of the researchers looked at a person riding a coaster but not someone who marathons on coasters. One ride on Beast probably wouldnt do much damage, but what about a person who rides that ride 20 times in a day. Will the constant swishing of the brain back and forth in the skull cause any damage or sheering? What about I305? Caused people to black out? Lack of blood to the brain is as bad as too much blood pressure.

What say you KIC? Where do we all fall on this? There is 30 years of research showing damage to footballers, but it appears there is only research for a few years in this.

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Just a qualifier. TBI means Traumatic Brain Injury. TBI can happen from abrupt acceleration and negative acceleration (de-acceleration) along with sudden stops. Both forward and backwards. The brain makes contact with the skull usually in the frontal lobe (responsible for personality and pragmatic skills) and the occipital lobe in the back (vision, depth perception, etc). If the brain goes side to side it can hit the temporal areas of the brain which control our ability to create and interpret language. The ability to recall information and store information is usually done with the hippocampal area located in the inner part of the brain. So your ability to pass classes (regurgitate information) may not be sign of TBI. The inability to come up with words during conversations, the ability to think critically, ability to pick up small changes in emotions of others are better signs.

Not saying anyone has a TBI, but just thought a quick reference would help.

Research has shown that multiple head injuries (such as football) over time can lead to the same plaque build up we see in people with dementia....

Just throwing it out to see what people think.

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The results of this study suggest that there is
no established minimum threshold of significant spine injury. The
greatest explanation for injury from traumatic loading of the spine is
individual susceptibility to injury, an unpredictable variable.


Abstract: Reports about neurological injury related to roller-coaster
rides mostly involve adults; we present a case of subdural hematoma in a
pediatric patient presented 14 days after a roller-coaster ride. These
rides show extreme up-and-down, to-and-fro, and rotatory
acceleration/deceleration forces that could produce tensile and shearing
stresses with tearing of bridging cerebral veins resulting in subdural
hemorrhage. Pediatricians should consider roller-coaster riding a modern
cause of subdural hematoma, as well as a possible cause of unexplained
neurologic events in otherwise healthy adolescents.

YOLO lol. It may not slow you down and it may not matter to you. But this may be a new field for research for TBI.

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I have controlled epilepsy, due to a stoke at birth. I have talked to my neurologists (2 separate ones) about my coaster hobby. Neither had any issues with me riding coasters. As a matter of fact, they prefer that I have a more healthier active life than to use it as a crutch and not be active. My old neurologist said this was a good outlet for my stress instead of a lot less unhealthier options. Both said that their research and personal patients have never had issues with coasters.

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You Only Live Once. Its the mantra of the youngins.

Indyguy, I in no way wanted to imply I know more than your Neurologists. I just think its an interesting avenue for future research. The research is sort of slim. I am a Speech and Language Pathologist by trade and researcher for fun. I think this may be an interesting long term study as there has not been many studies done. And as a professional in the medical field (sort of) I agree 100% that if its safe for your doc then you should continue it :)

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Im going to have brain damage if I have to listen to some punk yelling "Yolo" over and over again waiting in lines for coasters again this season! I cant believe I just read that word right before the park opens,I hopes its not a sign for whats to come!

No reason to get all buckwild about it.

Terp, who once saw Honey boo-boo.

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