This is the concussion book everyone has to read. Concussion has become one of the biggest issues to face contact sports. Only in the past decade have the consequences of repeated head knocks become better known, and the science is still rapidly catching up. For years, people who have suffered repeated concussions had been called ' punch drunk' or ' in dreamland' , a tacit recognition that blows to the head suffered during their sporting careers led to permanent damage. But with the discovery of CTE, or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, in the brains of deceased football players, it is now known that the onset of a form of dementia, caused by repeated concussions, can strike people as young as those in their thirties and forties. This is what has happened to Michael Lipman, a former rugby international who came out in public in 2018 as having had a diagnosis of early-onset dementia and probable CTE. With incredible courage and candour, Michael and his wife Frankie Lipman tell their story. For Michael, the damage was already done before he met Frankie. He was a retired footballer in his late thirties, prone to some moments of bizarre behaviour and memory loss when they fell in love. Since then, they have become parents together, during a period in which Michael' s challenges have grown and grown. They now face a future of living with Michael' s degenerative brain condition, and their purpose in writing this book is to give a wake-up call to contact sports and to parents with children considering playing them. Their book is a mix of personal story and scientific inquiry. As they have come to terms with Michael' s condition, Frankie has undertaken an exploration into the science of concussion in the effort to help him. Michael has become active also in an ongoing class action in Britain by retired rugby players now facing the reality of life with early-onset dementia symptoms. Concussion is both an emotional personal journey and a deep insight into our understanding of CTE - its causes and effects. It' s a must-read for anyone involved in contact sports, whether they' re players or parents of players. Michael and Frankie' s message is urgent, moving and important.
Michael Lipman, born in England and raised in Sydney, played 10 rugby Test matches for England and was a professional footballer for Bath and the Melbourne Rebels. At 38 years of age, he became the highest-profile retired rugby player to disclose publicly a diagnosis of early-onset dementia as a result of repeated concussions. Frankie Lipman is a former News Ltd journalist. She and Michael live on the Central Coast and have two children.