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This is how a healthy brain should look, with little damaged (brown) tissue.  (Source: CSTE)

It's hard to not accept the stunning visual evidence of brain damage in the brains of former professional football players, like the one seen here. They are filled with tangles of brown tissue, tissue that was dead or dying at an early age. The damage stems from the many hard hits incurred in the game.  (Source: CSTE)
Scientists gain a glimpse at the damage done to NFL players' brains by concussions

The NFL Super Bowl is today, something eagerly awaited by millions across America.  However, for some former NFL champions, just performing their daily activities has become an equally Herculean endeavor.

The sports world is rife with phrases like "taking one for the team" or "giving your body to the game.  While most professional or even amateur athletes do indeed experience some serious injuries throughout their career, nowhere are such phrases as true as in the NFL. 

Concussions in professional football are a fact of life.  Some like Ted Johnson have as many as 100 concussions.  Mr. Johnson was a supreme athlete, terrorizing NFL defenses on the offensive line of the New England Patriots.  He won three Super Bowl rings, but was forced to retire in 2002 after a pair of bad concussions from hard hits.  Now he's lucky to just be able to get out of bed, he says.

While many retired players have similar stories to Mr. Johnson, scientists had a very poor understanding of what exactly they are suffering from.  Concussions were described by doctors as a jarring blow to the head that temporarily stunned the senses, occasionally leading to unconsciousness.  There were no CT scans or MRI tests to detect the injuries.

Now, scientists have finally gained an understanding of what concussions do the brain and just how bad the damage is.  Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy (CSTE), at the Boston University School of Medicine, using brain tissue from former NFL players collected posthumously, discovered that concussions yield incredibly high damage to the brain.  The center put a name to such injuries -- chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

The new study heavily examined the brain of Tom McHale, who is only the sixth verified case of CTE.  Mr. McHale died in 2008 at only age of 45, after a sensational sports career that saw him play many sports in his teenage years.  According to the researchers, his brain damage began in these teenage years, with CTE damage starting to occur when he was around 18.

Dr. Ann McKee, a neuropathologist at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Bedford, Massachusetts, and co-director of the CSTE calls the discovery of damage starting at such a young age "shocking".  She states, "We think this is how chronic traumatic encephalopathy starts.  This is speculation, but I think we can assume that this would have continued to expand."

While a small sample, the CSTE has found CTE in all six brains of professional football players it has examined.  And the results are not just notable due to the repetition of the damage, but also its severity.  Dr. McKee states, "What's been surprising is that it's so extensive.  It's throughout the brain, not just on the superficial aspects of the brain, but it's deep inside."

Many former NFL players die young, passing away as early as their 30s or 40s.  According to Dr. McKee, many players at only 30 or 40 exhibit the same patchwork of dead brain tissue as an 80-year-old with Alzheimer's.  The study found the former NFL players to have brown tangles of dead or damaged cells flecked throughout the brain tissue.  Dr. McKee states, "I knew what traumatic brain disease looked like in the very end stages, in the most severe cases.  To see the kind of changes we're seeing in 45-year-olds is basically unheard of."

Among the affected parts of the brain are those responsible for controlling emotion, rage, hypersexuality, and even breathing.

The other football players who were examined in addition to McHale include John Grimsley, Mike Webster, Andre Waters, Justin Strzelczyk and Terry Long.  The NFL is not alone in brain injuries -- many in the world of boxing and professional wrestling suffer similarly injuries -- however scientists say it may be the sport in which they occur most often.  Scientists will be able to better determine just how widespread CTE is and learn more about its affects soon, as about 100 former NFL players have volunteered to donate their brains after death to the study.

The NFL released a rather defensive statement to the study, stating, "Hundreds of thousands of people have played football and other sports without experiencing any problem of this type and there continues to be considerable debate within the medical community on the precise long-term effects of concussions and how they relate to other risk factors."

However to players like former champion Ted Johnson, such words fly in the face of reality.  He states, "I'd [leave to] go see my kids for maybe 15 minutes," said Johnson. "Then I would go back home and close the curtains, turn the lights off and I'd stay in bed. That was my routine for two years.  Those were bad days.  I can definitely point to 2002 when I got back-to-back concussions. That's where the problems started -- the depression, the sleep disorders, the mental fatigue." 

"(The NFL doesn't) want you to know.  It's not like when you get into the NFL there's a handout that says 'These are the effects of multiple concussions so beware.  Really my main reason even for talking about this is to help the guys who are already retired.  [They] are getting divorced, going bankrupt, can't work, are depressed, and don't know what's wrong with them. [It is] to give them a name for it so they can go get help."

Mr. Johnson was the first of the 100 former NFL players to sign up to have his brain donated for study after his death.



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LOL
By rdeegvainl on 2/1/2009 3:06:47 PM , Rating: 5
Trent: Didn't you try out for the football team last year?

Sam: No, that wasn't like a real tryout. I was researching a book I was writing.

Trent: What's it about? Sucking in sports?

Sam: No, it's about the link between brain damage and football. It's a good book. Your friends would love it. It's got mazes in it, coloring areas, pop-up pictures. It's a lot of fun.




RE: LOL
By SlyNine on 2/1/2009 3:31:15 PM , Rating: 2
First thing I thought of when I read the title.


RE: LOL
By phxfreddy on 2/1/2009 3:35:46 PM , Rating: 2
Why some guys like watching other large sweaty guys run around in tight pants grappling one another is a complete mystery to me.


RE: LOL
By phxfreddy on 2/1/2009 3:37:40 PM , Rating: 2
unless there are more latent homosexuals in the population than I would have guessed that is.....


RE: LOL
By ThatOneGuyThere on 2/1/2009 4:20:35 PM , Rating: 2
Usually when you go off a show quote, you, ya know, continue it correctly, instead of portray your personal fantasy through an unsubstantiated claim.

Either way, good quote. Psych FTW! \m/(-_-)\m/


RE: LOL
By phxfreddy on 2/2/2009 1:15:27 AM , Rating: 1
Huh? Gee sweaty guys / tight pants... other guys who obsess about them. Why would anyone ever get the idea they were gay .....nooooooo they're not gay.


RE: LOL
By afkrotch on 2/2/2009 1:06:28 PM , Rating: 3
Football. Get the sack before he gets it to the tight-end.


RE: LOL
By Yojimbo on 2/1/09, Rating: -1
RE: LOL
By Myg on 2/1/2009 5:35:46 PM , Rating: 2
Yea! i've had it with the weeds; wheres the roundup?


RE: LOL
By cheetah2k on 2/1/2009 4:09:43 PM , Rating: 2
You just summed up the majority of male sports out there.

Its clear from this article that its safe to assume the causes of the brain damage shown, would not be limited to NFL. Other sports with hard hitting tackles include (predominantly in Australia) Rugby Union & Rugby League, and boxing would have to be the worst out of them all.

I think I might stick to playing Golf (with a helmet) :-p


RE: LOL
By someguy123 on 2/1/2009 4:19:16 PM , Rating: 2
caters to our animal instincts. not the tight pants, but the grappling and physical competition.

also it's so integrated in our culture that liking it automatically gives you something in common with almost all of your peers.


RE: LOL
By phxfreddy on 2/1/09, Rating: -1
RE: LOL
By anotherdude on 2/1/2009 5:06:52 PM , Rating: 4
So sports fans are repressed gays huh? Wow. Such reactive homophobia says a lot about you though.


RE: LOL
By bigboxes on 2/2/2009 1:43:11 AM , Rating: 3
Actually, I thought that guys that don't like sports were gay. Maybe it's just me.


RE: LOL
By Nirach on 2/2/2009 9:05:12 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, god. I laughed out loud. The rest of the office looked at me weird.

Chill out with the "YOU LIKE WATCHING MEN SWEAT, YOU GAY" and the "You.. You don't like sport? Are you a homo?"

Bigger things to worry about. Like breakfast. Or just about anything else.

I'm not a sports fan, just FYI. I have the build for rugby/american football, but none of the enthusiasm.


RE: LOL
By omnicronx on 2/2/2009 9:29:57 AM , Rating: 2
Then go play with your polly pocket.. I'll be watching FOOTBALL!


RE: LOL
By Screwballl on 2/2/2009 10:37:39 AM , Rating: 4
Some people that do not like something try to add a "gay" reference to it. Doesn't matter if it is the NFL, hockey, boxing, bagels, fried foods or whatever else. By making a "gay" comment they feel that somehow they are vindicated for not liking sports. It is ok for some guys to not like sports, their boyfriends usually do not mind either.

For the rest of us manly men, we say STFU and let us enjoy watching men (or women) tackle, trip, smash, punch, clothesline, grapple or otherwise demolish another person over and over again.


RE: LOL
By nugundam93 on 2/4/2009 8:07:10 AM , Rating: 2
you sir deserve a 6 for posting that priceless dialogue from transformers which is very appropriate for this topic. :)


How did I instantly know
By bill3 on 2/2/09, Rating: 0
RE: How did I instantly know
By Reclaimer77 on 2/2/2009 9:32:52 AM , Rating: 5
I don't want to agree with you... buuuut.

Nowhere in this article is the fact that the NFL is constantly researching and investing in helmet technologies to protect players. In just a few short years helmets and padding have not only better protected players brains, but neck and spines as well.

Also nowhere written is the fact that the NFL has changed the rules on what is and isn't a legal tackle. "Spearing" tackles and head to head hits are illegal and the players who do them are fined. And you can't even so much as TOUCH a quarterbacks head these days without getting penalized.

Of course the NFL is aware that head and brain trauma is possible. And so are the players. But why is this written with a conspiritorial tone ?


RE: How did I instantly know
By AssBall on 2/2/2009 9:52:51 AM , Rating: 2
Also isn't written is that most players if given the chance would go back and do it again anyway. An NFL football career and a few million for 5-15 years spent for a little bit of brain damage? Count me in.


RE: How did I instantly know
By omnicronx on 2/2/2009 10:53:03 AM , Rating: 2
This was an article outlying the ties between football concussions and brain damage, I don't see why he should have gone over the things you have named.
quote:
Also nowhere written is the fact that the NFL has changed the rules on what is and isn't a legal tackle. "Spearing" tackles and head to head hits are illegal and the players who do them are fined.
It also does not go over the fact that on average every play of every single game, someone on the field gets hurt to what one would consider a serious degree. This goes from a broken finger to torn muscle, to concussion.

As great as helmet and rule advancements have gone to make the game safer, it does not change the fact that these athletes are getting serious brain damage. I love football, but I am the first to say that more should be done to protect the players. Rule changes don't mean anything to those players that take LEGAL beatings on the field every game. Going helmet to helmet is a common practice for a lineman or tackle, and it is certainly not an illegal play in most cases.

What makes matters worse is the players in question are not the star QB's or HB's, 90% of the time these players have to shut their mouths and play their heart out just to be on an NFL team. Not to mention the pay of a lineman and similar positions is not earth shattering either, many players end up running out of money by the time they reach 50 and cannot pay for their medical bills.


RE: How did I instantly know
By Reclaimer77 on 2/2/2009 12:46:48 PM , Rating: 2


"(The NFL doesn't) want you to know. It's not like when you get into the NFL there's a handout that says 'These are the effects of multiple concussions so beware. Really my main reason even for talking about this is to help the guys who are already retired. [They] are getting divorced, going bankrupt, can't work, are depressed, and don't know what's wrong with them. [It is] to give them a name for it so they can go get help."


quote:
This was an article outlying the ties between football concussions and brain damage, I don't see why he should have gone over the things you have named.


Then why is that quote in the piece ? Here is a guy basically flat out accusing the NFL of exploiting players who are not aware of the risks. Which is a laughable position to take. I'm fine with that being in the piece, but to not offer any counter facts leads us to believe his word is gospel.

Also the symptoms in this quote sound like the exact same as long term exposure to steroids. Anger management, mood swings, depression etc etc.

quote:
As great as helmet and rule advancements have gone to make the game safer, it does not change the fact that these athletes are getting serious brain damage .


Wrong. We do not have nearly enough information here to make the assesment that ALL players have serious brain damage.

quote:
What makes matters worse is the players in question are not the star QB's or HB's, 90% of the time these players have to shut their mouths and play their heart out just to be on an NFL team


Have to ? I'm pretty sure if you asked them they would tell you what a thrill and an honor it was to play in the NFL. And that they would do it again in a heartbeat.

quote:
Not to mention the pay of a lineman and similar positions is not earth shattering either, many players end up running out of money by the time they reach 50 and cannot pay for their medical bills.


Isn't the league pay minimum like 150-200k a year ? If you can't live off that and invest it than I don't know what to tell you.

quote:
Rule changes don't mean anything to those players that take LEGAL beatings on the field every game.


That's part of the game. The price of admission.


RE: How did I instantly know
By omnicronx on 2/2/2009 3:32:52 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Then why is that quote in the piece ? Here is a guy basically flat out accusing the NFL of exploiting players who are not aware of the risks. Which is a laughable position to take. I'm fine with that being in the piece, but to not offer any counter facts leads us to believe his word is gospel.
The NFL telling its players you may get hurt and you should know the implications of playing is like telling a 10 year old kid not to eat too much sugar or their teeth will fallout. Put enough candy in front of the kid and nothing is going to stop him from eating. I don't see how dangling multimillion dollar contracts in front of someones eyes is any different. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying the NFL does not warn the players, but personally I think it is pretty much pointless. Some players give away their life to play in the NFL, not to mention for many players it was either, deal drugs, play sports, or earn minimum wage for the rest of their life.

quote:
Also the symptoms in this quote sound like the exact same as long term exposure to steroids. Anger management, mood swings, depression etc etc.
Different reasons, different situation. The cronic symptoms also differ, death from steroids is usually caused by the weakening of the hearts walls, and the other symtoms you mention are not nearly as cronic, nor do they occur at the same rate when you stop taking steroids.

quote:
Wrong. We do not have nearly enough information here to make the assesment that ALL players have serious brain damage.
Wrong! They know, although they don't want to admit it, they have ballparked how many concussions on average an NFL player will receive during his career. If you are trying to imply they do not know the long term effects of multiple concussions, you would be wrong. Why and how it happens is more of a mystery, but out of scope in this discussion.
quote:
Have to ? I'm pretty sure if you asked them they would tell you what a thrill and an honor it was to play in the NFL. And that they would do it again in a heartbeat.
Then why am I not playing in the NFL right now? I would love to have the thrill and the honor of playing for an NFL team.. oh ya.. it requires skill and 24/7 dedication to the sport. And when I say have too, I mean it, there is so much competition these days who do you think would likely be a better pick; a rookie trying to do anything they can to make the team, or a rookie who has just as much skill, but will whine about getting hit every game. Frankly the way it is these days, a rookie complaining about this would effectively be the end of your career for 95% of players (you know the non allstar QB/HB/WR). There is always someone to replace you, ready to give 110%.

quote:
Isn't the league pay minimum like 150-200k a year ? If you can't live off that and invest it than I don't know what to tell you.
Once again, kid in a candy store, I know you should be able to live off 2-3 million during your lifetime, but we all know this is not going to happen for the majority of players.

If you think I'm trying to advocate for massive rule changes or for the hitting to stop, then you are way off. I am just acknowledging that there is a problem. If players dying in their late 30's and early 40's is not a problem, I don't know what is. Even the most battered boxers have lasted longer.


article photo
By Dreifort on 2/2/2009 9:35:26 AM , Rating: 3
You gotta love the photo featuring the QB out cold and the defensive player(s) celebrating like he just accomplished something for the first time in his life.

I hate egos in football (and most sports) now. What happened to players on celebrating AFTER they won the game? this is a fine example of how our country's culture is leading our youth to grow up and rely on what others think about them for their success.

And I doubt it's just America, I have a feeling obsessive celebrating and desire for attention happens in other sports in other countries.




RE: article photo
By Reclaimer77 on 2/2/2009 12:29:24 PM , Rating: 2
I kinda agree with you. But nothing compares to the excessive celebrations of soccer players when they score a goal. I understand in that suckfest sport goals are so few and far between, but still, the celebrating is just stupidly insane.

And whats with the girl who lifts up her shirt and flashes everyone when she scores ?? Come on !


RE: article photo
By Ytsejamer1 on 2/2/2009 1:43:32 PM , Rating: 2
I think that's Brady on his back after heaving the last throw at last year's superbowl...i don't think the Giants had really laid him out on that particular play. *sigh*...what a dark freakin' day for Pats fans.


RE: article photo
By Reclaimer77 on 2/3/2009 12:03:32 AM , Rating: 2
No lets face it, that day the NFL was avenged.

It would have been a travesty if they won the Super Bowl in the same year they got busted for being cheaters.


RE: article photo
By xRyanCat on 2/2/2009 2:07:26 PM , Rating: 4
Sure a lot of players are attention whores, but a large amount would act the same way if the game wasn't even broadcasted. Adrenaline, excitement, and attitude are all part of winning a game. You can't expect the players to be calm and collected and still be flying around the field smashing heads. All sports are a mental game and without the right mentality they'll never win. When you get a 100 yard carry off an interception in the opposite end zone you can't help but celebrate, and that celebration gets the rest of the team going even harder and helps you win.

Do they need to practice a little more humility? Perhaps, but the fans celebrate way more than the players do. It's all part of the game.


what for?
By SunAngel on 2/1/2009 3:14:30 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Mr. Johnson was the first of the 100 former NFL players to sign up to have his brain donated for study after his death.


after 13 seasons in the NFL, unless your a QB, your brain is nothing more than mush anyways. young paperboys/girls have the same problem with hand (knuckle) injuries by the time they are 18 years old. having knocked on so many door their hands always stay clinched in the fist posture.




RE: what for?
By werepossum on 2/1/2009 3:18:28 PM , Rating: 2
Now to start autopsying politicians ...


RE: what for?
By Denithor on 2/1/2009 4:14:34 PM , Rating: 2
What for?

We already know you won't find anything but black pudding in there...


RE: what for?
By Gul Westfale on 2/1/2009 7:17:25 PM , Rating: 2
and a black heart... and a gaping hole where the soul should be.


There should be a third picture....
By SiliconAddict on 2/1/2009 3:48:18 PM , Rating: 3
The brain of a boxer....It would prob be 90% black splotches.




By anotherdude on 2/1/2009 5:11:02 PM , Rating: 3
Just talk to a former boxer or MMAer - huge percentage of them can't even speak without obvious slurring - permanently punch drunk - it's quite obvious. I guess it depends a bit on how much you got hit in football. It's not just brain in juries - spine and joint damage too.


What did you expect...?
By justinmcg67 on 2/1/2009 7:57:15 PM , Rating: 1
What did most people expect in the replies to this article except "Football is gay" "Men hitting each other is faggish" it's posted on a COMPUTER tech site, where more often than not, the people reading this article already think it's "gay."

Sports are fun, they're fun to watch, gives you and maybe your family something to do and spend time together. Or perhaps socialize with a few buddies, who knows. There's A LOT more to sports than just playing it; which if you had actually played one you might know. But alas, most people here probably haven't, not just in a school environment, but on their own time. Example given, a lot of churches on Thanksgiving hold football matches, it gives them time to share whatever religion it is they belong to, as well as socialize, get a good workout, and generally just have fun.

But we all know the kind of comments that will flow after this one is posted...hate away people, hate away... =/




RE: What did you expect...?
By rdeegvainl on 2/1/09, Rating: 0
RE: What did you expect...?
By jarman on 2/2/2009 9:54:59 AM , Rating: 3
Yeah... obviously no one likes his past time. We usually spend $200M+ for the commercial slots during any Family Guy episode...


RE: What did you expect...?
By rdeegvainl on 2/2/2009 4:50:17 PM , Rating: 2
who said no one likes it? but not everyone has to, and to whine when someone derides it is pretty stupid.


what happened to confidentiality
By frozentundra123456 on 2/1/2009 11:42:51 PM , Rating: 1
With the current emphasis on confidentiality of medical data, how can they publish the names of the players and even show photos of their pathology?? It seems insensitive and unnecessary to make public the names of players affected by this "disorder".
I agree it is good to make people aware of the potential problem, but they do not need to make identities public.




By BigPeen on 2/2/2009 2:31:36 AM , Rating: 2
Seriously? Because these players are affected by the condition, want to bring attention to it, and want to help people study it...

Plus
THE PLAYERS OBVIOUSLY HAD TO AGREE TO RELEASE THEIR NAMES.
Wow, just wow


Second sentence
By lycium on 2/2/2009 1:25:14 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
The NFL Super Bowl is this today

At least the eye-gouging mistake isn't in the very first sentence this time; it's now in the second! :D

This is a first class journalistic comedy act for sure...




already done!
By bety on 2/1/2009 8:07:44 PM , Rating: 2
I thought this had already been shown with a number of athletes for example, Chris Benoit. This is not news! I hope it was the same people who did the earlier research and not just late-coming glory-stealing academics.




Ted Johnson played Linebacker
By Denigrate on 2/1/2009 9:17:00 PM , Rating: 2
Not on the defensive line. Sheesh.




American sport
By Murloc on 2/2/2009 10:23:36 AM , Rating: 2
this isn't anything new, I always thought most popular american sports are plain stupid.
Football and boxing damage your brain.
Wrestling probably does that too.
I can't understand this culture of violence.




just a couple of details...
By Ytsejamer1 on 2/2/2009 11:04:55 AM , Rating: 2
Ted Johnson didn't terrorize defenses...he was a defensive player for the New England Patriots. He played middle linebacker and was fearless when he played. He would go into the pile head first...he split a few helmets on wicked hits.

But yeah, he got some sort of messed up with his concussions...too bad too as he was a great player, a decent guy, and a good community citizen. When he went through his depression bouts after leaving the game and whatnot, things got turned upside down in his personal life.




Cost benefit analysis
By svenkesd on 2/2/2009 1:07:46 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder how many people would risk the effects of concussions in order to make their family financially secure for generations.

I would risk it for an average NFL salary.




By Lerianis on 2/2/2009 11:21:23 PM , Rating: 2
Why don't they look at people, like myself, who have gotten concussions in our lives? If our brains are JUST AS BAD as these NFL players..... it might just be that after a concussion, brain tissue 'dying at an early age' is normal and part of the brain's means to 'prune' parts of itself that are damaged beyond repair by the body.




By nomentanus on 2/3/2009 12:02:46 AM , Rating: 2
If I remember some recent historical studies the vast majority of gladiators survived in good shape into old age. Much safer than pro ball.

PS - Don't count on improved helmets to change this situation: helmets spread the energy of the impact over time, making it less likely that you'll break bones, or tear collagen, but they don't actually dissipate any significant amount of energy, so you'll still shake the brain tissue itself into liquid jelly.

I see a big future here for the HHBFL: the "Huge-Hampster-Ball Football League."




Football is evil!
By hameed on 2/4/2009 5:50:56 AM , Rating: 2
Let them go and ban football instead of picking on games.
At least this damage they can prove.




I played football
By MisterChristopher on 2/2/2009 4:17:28 AM , Rating: 1
I played football for a long time. I feel pretty brain dead. Wonder if it is related.

Or maybe it's more due to my irregular sleep habits, my lack of nutritional foods, lack of exercise, and lack of mentally stimulating activities.




Until then
By mindless1 on 2/1/09, Rating: -1
RE: Until then
By Darkskypoet on 2/1/2009 3:52:13 PM , Rating: 5
Uh yeah... Sure.

A few reasons Brain damage isn't the likely cause of wanting to be a pro athlete:

1.) Living in really crappy socio-economic conditions where sports is often seen as the way out ?

2.) Sports being seen as the way to get a university / college scholarship.

3.) Maniacal parents all over North America wanting their kid to be the next great <insert Hockey / football> star.

4.) Sports stars are elevated beyond scientists, doctors, etc in our society; and it has been this way for a while.

Seriously???? Brain damaged to want to be a massive star, rich beyond belief, and access to the absolute best in life? Are you on crack? Glue? Concussion much?

Up here in Canada, its not football but Hockey that brings on the same issues with concussions. And yes multiple concussions simply end your career, and make life in many cases almost unlivable. Not pre-existing. You take a number of savage hits to the head in most heavy contact sports (Hockey, boxing, football, etc) and your career, not too mention just daily life is severely affected. One thing is for certain, much like doses of radiation; concussions are a cumulative phenomenon. With each additional one simply worsening the damage, and the first concussion makes you more susceptible to the next, and so on.


RE: Until then
By cheetah2k on 2/1/2009 4:21:49 PM , Rating: 2
Its one thing to understand the risks, but another to exploit them.

At the end of the day, everyone aspiring to be that next sporting hero will make their own decision. Yes, socio-economic factors play a large part on finding the way out, but all of this won't change anything.

On the upside, its better we now understand the risks to our brains in contact sports, and recognise the true reason why our fav NFL sports personalities are turning into a vegatative state at 40yrs old (or committing armed robbery & kidnapping landing 15 yrs in jail - Nice one OJ!)


RE: Until then
By JAB on 2/1/2009 4:26:42 PM , Rating: 2
Yes this area is well researched the damage to the brain is well documented in these contact sports. Even one serious concussion that many get repeatedly can have serious long term cognitive and personality change. Note aggression and depression are common personality changes frequently observed. If you have ever worked with any kind of TBI it is impossible to dispute the effect in personality.

This is not really news just the graphic images.


RE: Until then
By PrinceGaz on 2/1/2009 6:27:51 PM , Rating: 2
If brain damage caused by these sports is well known, why don't they wear protective head-gear? I know American Football players wear helmets, but they should mandate the use of much better ones in contact sports like AF, Boxing, etc.


RE: Until then
By michael2k on 2/1/2009 9:02:56 PM , Rating: 2
This article kind of suggests protective head-gear has no effect.


RE: Until then
By MrPoletski on 2/2/2009 5:28:24 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
This article kind of suggests protective head-gear has no effect.


Erm, I think the article suggests they are insufficient.

I mean I'd love to see a game of american football where they wore no helmets and head butted each other like they do. I guess I'm a bit of sicko tho heheh uuhahah MWAHAHAHHAHA


RE: Until then
By Hieyeck on 2/2/2009 7:54:12 AM , Rating: 2
Clearly the answer is to play football in bubbles.


RE: Until then
By Reclaimer77 on 2/2/2009 9:47:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
This article kind of suggests protective head-gear has no effect.


???

Without helmets I ASSURE you we wouldn't be talking about long term effects of concussions. We would be talking about deaths every year, if not every game...


RE: Until then
By michael2k on 2/2/2009 1:09:09 PM , Rating: 2
Um, taken in context, my post implies that head-gear has no effect on "long" term brain damage, where "long" is 5-15 years.

I never said it had no effect on death or something.


RE: Until then
By Lord 666 on 2/1/2009 6:19:32 PM , Rating: 3
The Lindros brothers are the first to come to mind when thinking of concussions for hockey and Troy Aikman and Al Toon in football. However, it would be more interesting to see more recent athletes from the 90's and 200x go through the same test due the large use of creatine supplementation since this era. But hold that thought for a second.

Personally speaking, had two concussions myself; one from snowboarding and exactly one year later from a car accident while wearing my seatbelt. Never had a concussion prior while playing organized football or hockey or since the second concussion.

Can definitely speak volumes on the issue's I've had. Took about three years for the constant headaches and "fog" to go away since the last concussion. During those three years, did as much research as possible on any TBI studies while going through cognitive therapy myself. Yes, my concussion was that bad and disrupted professional life enough to warrant cognitive therapy.

One study with rats found after consuming creatine followed by head trama had a quicker recovery rate and less brain damage to the point it was considered a protective agent. This is the reason why I mention the time period starting from the 90's due to the introduction of large creatine supplementation. Prior to my concussions, already consumed creatine, but not for about one year from the first concussion so it was out of my system already. So I started taking creatine again and felt there was a slight difference in the fog and concentration ability.

However, one medicinal drug I did take that helped with a noticeable difference was antibiotics... specifically broad spectrum like Levaquin. Came across this by accident during a respiratory infection and after taking Levaquin, felt the "fog" was lifted. The "fog" came back after about 2-3 weeks upon stopping the antibiotics. Purposely tried this method again with similar results. Would love to see some serious research in this.

Anyway, sorry for the ramble, but TBI is a huge part of my life now and wanted to share with everyone. Trying to start a TBI not-for-profit group to benefit children who suffer from this injury since a friend has a paralyzed son due to TBI during a car accident.


RE: Until then
By EODetroit on 2/2/2009 9:46:26 AM , Rating: 2
I just want to point out that Aikman does as excellent job (imo) as a football color commentator, so any concussions he may have suffered (and I seem to recall that he did have one) hasn't really slowed him down mentally.


RE: Until then
By omnicronx on 2/2/2009 10:57:03 AM , Rating: 2
I really doubt the scope of this article/study was basing their results on QB injuries. Aikman had a few concussions during his entire career, and that was considered a lot for a QB (not to many would hide their injury and be able to play through it either.. unless you are Big Ben of course ;) ). Its not uncommon for a player to receive 15+ over their career, most of which are probably unknown to the public.


RE: Until then
By mindless1 on 2/1/09, Rating: -1
RE: Until then
By Amiga500 on 2/2/2009 9:44:09 AM , Rating: 1
They're elevated by the lower class for most sports, the dumb people who love to stick to simple things like tribal rituals of one group versus another in physical challenges, because they don't have the mental ability to appreciate much more than that.

After a comment like that, I'd just like to say:

Go f**k yourself you piece of sh!t.


RE: Until then
By mindless1 on 2/3/2009 2:00:18 PM , Rating: 2
Hit a nerve did I?

Someday, our civilization will look back at how crude the barbarians were and see the link to cavemen.


RE: Until then
By AssBall on 2/2/2009 10:02:48 AM , Rating: 2
You got team picked last for dodgeball all the time in junior high, eh? Your envy for those who weren't lazy fattasses has now grown into an unhealthy scorn.


RE: Until then
By mindless1 on 2/3/2009 1:58:07 PM , Rating: 2
Actually I played several sports and ironically enough am still involved in a sporting organization, meaning I see lots of these brain-dead morons on a regular basis, have to interact with them instead of just pretending they're intelligent based on the ability to do basic physical things a tiny % better than other people.


RE: Until then
By tcsenter on 2/1/2009 7:28:02 PM , Rating: 2
Another problem will be separating similar indicators of dysfunction with disparate causes. This phenomenon exists in plenty of other contexts where brain injury is never an issue.

I've seen a dozen people who either electively or non-electively retired after three decades, then struggled with depression and anxiety because their livelihood had become vital to their sense of worth or purpose. When this is taken away, even when its elective, they literally don't know what they are supposed to be getting out of bed every day for. They cannot make a successful transition to "former" whatever.

I don't see professional athletes being any more immune to this. If anything, I could see them being even more vulnerable to it because of how disparate professional athletes are treated when they are productive. Imagine having your name in the newspaper or on television every week, people treating you like a God, groupies throwing themselves at you, getting into all the exclusive clubs or establishments, and fat checks rolling in for 10+ years. A few years after you retire, it becomes difficult to find anyone that knows who you are, and even more difficult to find anyone who still cares, since you aren't playing anymore.

That's a vastly more precipitous change than your average person will ever face when going from 'current' to 'former' construction worker, firefighter, autoworker, or whatever.


RE: Until then
By Lord 666 on 2/1/2009 10:51:38 PM , Rating: 2
Also worth mentioning is a possible correlation between steroid use and the tangles pre/post concussion.

Another missing aspect with the study is alchohol use pre/post concussion; 99% of NFL players play football in college and college athletes usually are at the epicenter of drinking.


RE: Until then
By thelostjs on 2/5/2009 10:19:48 AM , Rating: 2
id say most college students hoping to make football into a career drink very little alcohol.
pros: probably continue that philosophy until after retirement, where it sounds like the real problems start, or where the real problems start to become noticed :-)

what do you think would happen if everyone who watched sports on television were to find something productive to do instead, like playing football with their kids :-p


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