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New Will Smith Movie Emphasizes Dangers Of Concussions

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) --  With the upcoming opening of the movie "Concussion," brain injuries are getting a lot more attention and are being taken very seriously now.

65% of concussions happen to children, which can be especially dangerous.

Doctors at Jefferson's Concussion Center say taking quick action is critical.

The kind of technology that's used to diagnose and treat concussions is helping 14-year-old Michael McKendry think more clearly.

"I don't remember what it's like not to have a concussion and not having a headache," Michael said. "It feels like it takes me three days to comprehend one thing."

He was a sports superstar, excelling at soccer and hockey, but along the way Michael, who lives in Bridesburg, suffered 13 concussions.

Remarkably, he was always cleared to play again.

"No doctors along the way said, 'wow, stop.' Never," Michael's mom said.

"I wish I would have known the first time," Michael said. "Even before I hit my head, I ruined everything for myself."

Here at the Jefferson Concussion Center, Michael was finally diagnosed with Post-Concussion Syndrome.

He suffers from things like confusion, memory loss, and depression.

"Each successive concussion makes things worse," said Dr. Rob Franks co-medical director of the Concussion Center.

Dr. Frank says there's still a lot that's not known about concussions, but the science is evolving.

"We have objective findings, in the past it was always subjective," Dr. Franks said.

Michael is now regaining his balance, which is often impacted by concussions. He is also training his eyes to work in unison again.

"I wish I would have known before all of this and maybe the outcome would have been different," Michael's mother said. "He would still be able to play sports if he got treated properly from the very first time."

Michael is getting better and so are his grades, but he desperately missed playing sports.

"I feel like I lost a family member," Michael said.

Michael now admits he didn't tell anyone about the headaches he experienced; he just wanted to get back in the game. Doctors say the concussion symptoms can be mild, but any blow to the head should probably be evaluated by a doctor.

For more information on concussions and where to get treated, follow the links below:

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