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Brain and Mental Performance

Roller Coaster Riders May Be More Susceptible to Blood Clots in

19 years, 7 months ago

7064  0
Posted on Sep 26, 2002, 5 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Dr. Toshio Fukutake of Chiba University School of Medicine warns that people who ride roller coasters may be at increased risk of developing blood clots in the brain, known as subdural hematomas. Fukutake and colleagues report on several subjects whose experiences on roller coasters may have lead to brain injury (Neurology 2000;54:264).

Dr. Toshio Fukutake of Chiba University School of Medicine warns that people who ride roller coasters may be at increased risk of developing blood clots in the brain, known as subdural hematomas. Fukutake and colleagues report on several subjects whose experiences on roller coasters may have lead to brain injury (Neurology 2000;54:264). In each of these cases, a host of more likely physical factors were ruled out as causes for the blood clots. A healthy 24-year-old Japanese woman developed subdural hematomas on both sides of the brain after riding three different roller coasters two times each at a Japanese amusement park. She did not experience any direct trauma to the head while riding the coasters. Plagued by a four-day long headache, she went to her physician, who found no abnormalities of vital signs, neurology, or tests of blood or urine, and thus prescribed muscle relaxants for her headache pain. After the headaches persisted for two months, 3-D brain imaging (via Magnetic Resonance Imaging) found that she experienced a condition called 'subdural hematomas with neomembranes.' After Dr. Fukutake and his team cleared the swellings, the headache subsided. Eight weeks later, the woman no longer experienced the headache pain. Giant roller coasters, higher and faster than typical roller coasters, may be particularly more dangerous. The researchers suggest that the acceleration forces associated with roller-coaster rides cause veins in the brain to tear, resulting in the formation of blood clots. In the Spring 2000 session, Congressional Democrats are discussing legislation to allow the federal government to regulate rides at the nation's largest amusement parks. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 9,200 people were treated for amusement park ride-related injuries in 1998 -- a 24 percent increase over the previous four years.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Neurology 2000;54:264

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