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Medicine Science

Athletes' Brains Reveal Concussion Damage 328

Posted by kdawson
from the chronic-traumatic-encephalopathy dept.
jamie found a story on research about what concussions do to athletes, with the insights coming mostly from the study of the donated brains of dead athletes. The NFL has the biggest profile in the piece, but other sports make an appearance too. Turns out that repeated concussions can result in depression, insomnia, and the beginnings of something that looks a lot like Alzheimer's. "The idea that you can whack your head hundreds of times in your life and knock yourself out and get up and be fine is gone," said [retired wrestler] Nowinski. "We know we can't do that anymore. This causes long-term damage."
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Athletes' Brains Reveal Concussion Damage

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  • by Herr_Skymarshall (1029532) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @05:16PM (#26628837)
    They just need to smoke more pot!
  • by djupedal (584558)

    drain bamage - when only the best will do.

  • Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bFusion (1433853) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @05:19PM (#26628885) Homepage

    "The idea that you can whack your head hundreds of times in your life and knock yourself out and get up and be fine is gone," said [retired wrestler] Nowinski.

    This was a legitimate idea that people actually believed?

    • We're told that we will corrupt a HDD of we don't shut down properly, but who here hasn't done it anyways when necessary?
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by drodal (1285636)
        yeah, me too, I never worry about... now why does it keep saying frag error link 238 of 4096.....
    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @05:23PM (#26628953) Journal
      The "Just suck it up and be a man" theory of sports medicine is surprisingly persistent. As are its close relatives the "Stay strong and positive" theory of oncology and the "Pull yourself together" theory of psychotherapy.
      • Re:Really? (Score:5, Funny)

        by ChienAndalu (1293930) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @05:37PM (#26629177)

        So very true. Other cancers of todays medicine are the "let it all out"-philosophy in gastroenterology and the "don't be so hard on yourself" school of urology.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by FiloEleven (602040)

        The "stay strong and positive" theory of oncology does hold. In most cases it won't save your life in the absence of other treatment, but it's been repeatedly shown that patients with positive attitudes often have more positive prospects than those who succumb to gloom and doom.

        This is the same idea as having faith in your ability to jump over a large gap. If you question your ability, you become less steady on your feet, less able to time your leap, and increase the chance of your failure.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          O Rly? [wiley.com]
        • Re:Really? (Score:5, Informative)

          by GNT (319794) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @06:00PM (#26629573)

          Cancer survival not linked to a positive attitude, study finds
          Print version: page 14

          Some cancer patients seek out support groups and psychotherapy with the notion that improving their emotional states will extend their lives, says University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine psychologist James C. Coyne, PhD.

          However, in a study in the journal Cancer, (Vol. 110, No. 11) Coyne and colleagues reported that emotional well-being in no way predicted survival among patients with head and neck cancer.

          "If people want to go to a support group there are lots of advantages to it, such as a sense of belonging, but survival isn't one of them," says Coyne.

          In the large-scale study conducted over nine years, Coyne and colleagues used baseline quality-of-life questionnaires to assess the well-being of 1,093 cancer patients. All participants were involved in clinical trials, which ensured uniformity of treatment and ruled out substantial health disparities in the sample. During the study, 646 patients died, and the research team found no relationship between their emotional well-being and cancer progression and death.

          Though his findings strongly contradict the notion that a positive attitude is related to survival, the idea of "fighting" cancer is deeply rooted in our culture, says Coyne.

          "It's the American way, that you can do it, you can fight it," he adds.

          Based on the study results, Coyne believes it's important to not blame cancer patients who don't adopt an aggressively positive spirit.

          "We want to recognize thatthere are lots of individual differences in coping with cancer," he says. "People have to do what's comfortable with them, but they have to do it without the burden of thinking they've got to have the right attitudeto survive."

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by sjames (1099)

            At least unlike the suck it up and be a man approach to concussion, a positive outlook is unlikely to cause harm. It may even improve quality of life for the remaining time.

          • Re:Really? (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @07:42PM (#26631105)
            I've read something similar to what you are quoting and while I don't particularly disbelieve it I do wonder how the "positive thinking doesn't help" idea fits in with the observed lowered life expectancy for people with depression. In fact just getting health insurance after being diagnosed with depression can be very difficult.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by blind biker (1066130)

        To "stay positive in oncology" (that is, if cancer patients have an optimistic/positive posture) has been confirmed multiple times to be effective. And it's not purely psychosomatic, either: patients with a positive attitude are much more likely to take an active role in their therapy.

        I have quite recently read about a study that confirmed this very thing, again.

        And this from a guy who is totally against stuff like chakra, "meridians", "energy flows" and other such horseshit.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by DragonWriter (970822)

          To "stay positive in oncology" (that is, if cancer patients have an optimistic/positive posture) has been confirmed multiple times to be effective.

          Er, no, its been repeatedly shown to be completely bunk, as was discussed (with citations) in response to the previous response to GP claiming the same thing even before the parent was posted.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          patients with a positive attitude are much more likely to take an active role in their therapy

          So what's to say that it's not the actively taking a role in therapy is what's doing the trick?

      • The classic "Rub some dirt on it" treatment followed by the classic "Shake it off" advice.
    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Funny)

      by jockeys (753885) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @05:25PM (#26628995) Journal
      actually, I'm pretty sure the only people who believed it were people who had been whacked on the head hundreds of times.
    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by chill (34294) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @05:48PM (#26629371) Journal

      No, not really. I mean a quick look at ex-boxers, like Muhammad Ali, would tell you otherwise. The phrase "punch drunk" has been in the English language for some time now.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by yaphadam097 (670358)

        Muhammad Ali has Parkinson's which is rather a different thing from being "punch drunk" and is not related to boxing. His tremors make it difficult for him to speak in public. This is no reflection of his intelligence, his memory, or anything else related to higher mental function.

        • Re:Really? (Score:5, Informative)

          by g0at (135364) <ben@zygo[ ]ca ['at.' in gap]> on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @06:47PM (#26630281) Homepage Journal

          Actually, my understanding is that he suffers from Parkinson's syndrome [wikipedia.org], which is not the same as the disease proper.

          -b

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            Actually, my understanding is that he suffers from Parkinson's syndrome [wikipedia.org], which is not the same as the disease proper.

            -b

            Head trauma *is* correlated with the onset of Parkinson's.

            Past episodes of head trauma are reported more frequently by individuals with Parkinson's disease than by others in the population. A recent methodologically strong retrospective study found that those who have experienced a head injury are four times more likely to develop Parkinsonâ(TM)s disease than those who have never suffered a head injury. The risk of developing Parkinsonâ(TM)s increases eightfold for patients who have had head trau

    • by kalirion (728907)

      Hey when I was in pre-school I fell on my head plenty of times while learning to ice skate and I'm none the worse for wear now who are you and how did you get in my tv?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Hordeking (1237940)

      "The idea that you can whack your head hundreds of times in your life and knock yourself out and get up and be fine is gone," said [retired wrestler] Nowinski.

      This was a legitimate idea that people actually believed?

      No. He just whacked his head a few hundred times, and finally came to the correct conclusion.

    • by causality (777677)

      "The idea that you can whack your head hundreds of times in your life and knock yourself out and get up and be fine is gone," said [retired wrestler] Nowinski.

      This was a legitimate idea that people actually believed?

      No, but "I'm a real tough guy, watch me prove it" is an idea that lots of people actually believe. You just used a more accurate phrasing. That's what I mean when I say that when you call things what they are, everything becomes so simple.

  • If this is true... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by scubamage (727538) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @05:19PM (#26628893)
    If this is true, then why do schools insist on giving money to sports programs while starving arts and sciences budgets? Not only do they not do their job, they're effectively making kids dumber by causing brain damage.
    • by Vectronic (1221470) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @05:22PM (#26628935)

      It's a conspiracy.

    • by Wonko the Sane (25252) * on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @05:24PM (#26628969) Journal

      Not only do they not do their job, they're effectively making kids dumber by causing brain damage.

      Unless making kids dummer is their job [johntaylorgatto.com].

      • by causality (777677) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @06:18PM (#26629847)

        Not only do they not do their job, they're effectively making kids dumber by causing brain damage.

        Unless making kids dummer is their job [johntaylorgatto.com].

        This is the first time I've seen anyone other than me reference this excellent man and the wisdom he is willing to share. You referenced the book The Underground History of American Education. That's an amazing thing to read, for it explains not just the problem but how it came to be this way and the sort of politics that made it override the wishes of parents.

        If you ever need (depending on your audience) a shorter introduction to John Taylor Gatto and his message, you may also like his essay, The Six-Lesson Schoolteacher. [cantrip.org]

        I know that you referenced truth because doing so was its own reward. It does not make you want to horde it like gold and silver, but rather to share it with whomever will listen. Knowing this, I say BLESS YOU for bringing such excellence into this discussion. To lots of us, even those of us already familiar with these things, it is a welcome sight.

    • by Duradin (1261418)

      I think it's a federal law you have to sustained at least one lifelong injury while in highschool to meet their No Child Left Unmaimed standards.

      It's pure coincidence the bill was backed by the sports medicine lobby.

    • by MightyYar (622222)

      If this is true, then why do schools insist on giving money to sports programs while starving arts and sciences budgets?

      That's what the parents want. They must all have head injuries.

    • The majority like sports more than art and science, it's as simple as that.
      If enough parents asked for the reverse, it would happen.

      ... making kids dumber by causing brain damage.

      Well, there's only so many football linemen in a given school.
      The population is large enough to allow for a few sacrificial lambs :-)

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Artraze (600366)

      It honestly depends. At my old college, the sports stuff fell under an entity completely distinct from the school. It was initially set up this so that what you were describing couldn't happen. The school was one thing, and the sports were another, so that the school _couldn't_ give money to sports. And it turned out, the sports teams (well, specifically football) actually ended up turning _huge_ profits. Since they can transfer this to the school, the extra money ends up getting spent on new buildings

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Chris Pimlott (16212)

        The point I'm making here, in an admittedly roundabout way, is that sports actually tend to pull in a decent amount of money, so that the funding usually isn't that major.

        Actually, I've read that this isn't actually the case; that while a small number of schools have very successful (and well known) sports programs that do pull in a profit, the majority of colleges do in fact lose money on their sports programs, at least for Division 1-A schools. [insidehighered.com]

        The amount of money require to field a top tier competitive team - scholarships, coaching salaries, stadiums and facitilies - can reach into the tens of millions (especially for football). Only a few schools have the draw to recoup

    • by je ne sais quoi (987177) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @05:37PM (#26629187)
      The answer is marketing. A highly visible sports program does seem to increase the visibility of the school and in response, the school gets a bigger pool of student applications and can choose better students out of that pool. But I agree that the idea that we have these "athlete scholars" is usually a farce, their is a double-standard for athletes and universities do whatever they can to ignore huge problems with athletes cheating, etc. The universities really need to stop spending so much money on their athletic programs and worry about their core missions, which are education and research, which does NOT include entertainment.

      As for TFA, for us sedentary desk-jockeys, we think of "exercise" as healthy, but anyone who has played a sport in some sort of serious way has probably noticed that athletics at this level is not healthy, it's damaging to the body, it doesn't surprise me that the brain is no exception. I played competitive ultimate frisbee on a regular basis for several years and I was beginning to get knee trouble. Looking at the health problems some of the older players had was enough to make me quit. I'd much rather still be able to walk when I'm 50 thank you.
      • by frosty_tsm (933163) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @06:21PM (#26629909)

        but anyone who has played a sport in some sort of serious way has probably noticed that athletics at this level is not healthy, it's damaging to the body

        This has actually been a big thing for me. I do martial arts and have experienced a wide range of styles and schools. When I go to a school and see a master in his 30s with knee problems, I move on.

        I've developed a theory that there is a balance that one decide when picking a marital art. One one side, there are brutal styles with lots of sparing that will make you incredibly strong / effective. But the strain on the body will result in you only being strong for a limited number of years. Since I'm not a soldier and am not fighting for my life, there's no benefit in me studying one of these styles for an extended period of time. These would include Krav Maga, Jujitsu, and many Tae Kwon Do styles (depends on the round-house kicking technique).

        There are gentler styles that still are effective martial arts but without stressing one's body to the point of failure after a few years. This includes Aikido (even though you fall, you fall gently), Iaido (just don't cut yourself), and possibly Kendo.

        I can't say my observations are perfect, but I've seen a lot more old yet effective practitioners of these styles than of the first styles.

    • Keep in mind this is for professional players. Not necessary for the High School Jerk/err um Jock, who thinks he has a chance to get in the big league.
      I would like to see data on kids brains on sports.

    • . . . crowds of plebes have gleefully enjoyed watching folks, bash the shit, out off other folks. It keeps the populace's minds of other social problems.

      I wouldn't be surprised if the next government economic stimulus act funds "Ben Hur" style Roman warship battles in the Washington Monument Reflecting pool. With free bread for the spectators.

      If this is true, then why do schools insist on giving money to sports programs while starving arts and sciences budgets?

      Such programs don't bring out the crowds on the weekends to the stadiums.

      Hmmm . . . maybe Stem Cell experiments, with cheerleaders would work.

      Enraged wacko-ph

    • by mdarksbane (587589) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @08:00PM (#26631389)

      Yes, because there's a much higher earning potential for artists than football players... they're both disciplines where a few people make it big, and the rest scrounge or go into something else while talking about their lost dreams.

      In high school, I resented the attention that the jocks and the athletic department got at our school. But then I got to college and went into engineering... and saw dozens of young men who couldn't run a mile, who were obese and unattractive and unable to be self-sufficient when it came to anything physical. Moreover, I saw the inability to work as a team, to work within a command structure or to lead others, to communicate, to deal with stress and confrontation.

      Deifying athletics is ridiculous - but so is ridiculing it. Music, art, athletics, hell, even math and science for the vast majority of high schoolers, are not things we teach our children because we want them to spend the rest of their lives painting or playing guitar. They are ways to grow the whole human body and mind into a stronger, faster, smarter, more social, more responsible, and just pure *better* adult.

      We should support better safety in sports - but as others have pointed out, concussions are something that are only recently well understood. There was a general idea of a correlation between too many head injuries and brain damage, but no one knew how often, or how bad, or anything it would take to do serious damage. Sports medicine isn't the only area where there have been bad knowledge or just plain lack of knowledge, especially at the high school level.

      We should fund art, and music, and science, and everything else in schools better, and many schools do have more priority than they probably should on athletics. But then, how often do you see the whole community energized and supportive in physical presence and monetary donations to watch a science class. Maybe we should be hitting that angle before we complain about schools spending on athletics.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Marketing. It has everything to do with what's visible in the community. Parents and alumnis see sports scores in the local paper. You don't generally see as much about the arts and sciences as much in the media.

  • Dangerous (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    We have to stop that before someone is so gone that he shoots himself in the leg.

  • by Anonymous Cowbell (1456535) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @05:22PM (#26628947)

    I remember an ESPN interview of a retired NFL linebacker. He'd had multiple concussions in his playing days. He was quite mentally damaged, at the ripe old age of 45.

    One day he went out for a drive, and when he got to his block, he couldn't recognize his own house. So he decided to just keep driving around the block, over and over. More than an hour elapsed before one of his family members spotted the car out the front window and went outside and flagged him down.

    It wasn't the first time seemingly simple things/memories just completely escaped him

    • by ChienAndalu (1293930) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @05:48PM (#26629377)

      Just out of curiosity, I just googeled for Muhammad Ali to find about his Parkinson condition.

      It looks like his career choice was at least partly responsible for his brain damage: Article [associatedcontent.com].

      This isn't mentioned in the Wikipedia, by the way.

      Makes you wonder if it is smart to glorify professional boxing.

    • by Darth_brooks (180756) * <clipper377@NoSpAm.gmail.com> on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @05:55PM (#26629501) Homepage

      It's not surprising, but it's also a bit of a slight to the way concussions are being handled today. These artciles give the impression that concussions are treated today the same way they were 30 years ago.

      Ten years ago was the point where things really started to "click" when it came to concussions. Jim Everett's case in particular. He was an NFL quarterback who spent several years as a veritable punching bag for some god-awful teams, including the St. Louis Rams. Everett had actually taken to keeping his phone number in his wallet, since he frequently got lost on the way home (a 15 minute drive) from the stadium, and couldn't remember his address or phone number. At that point, a lot of NFL teams began taking notice. The tissue samples we're seeing are from guys who, for the most part, played in the 70's and 80's, back when "shut up and play you pussy, you just 'got your bell rung'" was a way of life. Now, concussions are handled with considerably more care. Is it enough? I don't know that anyone is sure yet. But at least they're being treated like the legitimate, serious injury they are.

      But what's really waking up pro sports teams? Money. With teams investing over 100 million dollars over ten years in some players, the risk is losing not only what you've invested in development, but what you stand to earn in terms of marketing and merchandise revenues. What do you think a Peyton Manning-level players is worth to his franchise over his career? a quarter of a billion dollars? Half a billion? Do you think it's any different in the NHL? Or EPL?

      It's interesting that Chris Nowinski is mentioned in the article. As a former pro-wrestler, hearing him talk about concussions is like hearing about gang violence from someone who lives in Compton. The WWE has an absolutely abysmal record of handling athlete injuries, especially concussions.

      • by butalearner (1235200) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @06:55PM (#26630417)

        The tissue samples we're seeing are from guys who, for the most part, played in the 70's and 80's, back when "shut up and play you pussy, you just 'got your bell rung'" was a way of life. Now, concussions are handled with considerably more care. Is it enough? I don't know that anyone is sure yet. But at least they're being treated like the legitimate, serious injury they are.

        My father was a linebacker for 8 years in the '80s, and he says something very similar. He had several concussions himself, and only when he suffered the one or two major ones did he come out of the game. He's coached for a high school and a smaller college team recently and says that even at that level everyone is so much more aware of injuries, and other dangers like dehydration and heat exhaustion, than they were when he played professionally. And before that it was worse...when he was in high school they used to take salt pills instead of water breaks.

        Anyway, he's 50 now, his knees and back are shot so he walks like a 75 year old. Maybe it's because he just turned 50, but the NFLPA has recently gotten serious about former player health, so they've begun periodically checking his heart and other health problems. But thankfully the only mental problem I've noticed is that he votes Republican.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by michael path (94586)

        The NHL has taken special attention to 'head shots' this year and the injuries that go with. There's a handful of guys - Eric Lindros being the most prominent - who lost a great deal of playing time from getting their bell rung.

        Rough story about Everett. I just read about some of the stuff he's done since, including completing his MBA. He actually never played with St. Louis, though - the Rams didn't move there until 1995.

        As far as franchise players and their value, I imagine a guy like Peyton Manning or

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Darth_brooks (180756) *

          Some of Lindros' problems were his own doing. He rose through the junior ranks so quickly that he never developed any on-ice vision. Be it either due to his meteoric rise or a simple lack of skill, he never had a decent sense of what was going on around him. Igor Larionov was generously listed as 5'8" 185 lbs, yet never once took the hits that I saw Lindros take.

          And of course, Lindros had a habit of taking the puck up through center ice with his head down. That may have worked back in the OHL when he was 50

  • Athletes? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Tackhead (54550) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @05:24PM (#26628975)

    "The idea that you can whack your head hundreds of times in your life and knock yourself out and get up and be fine is gone," said [retired wrestler] Nowinski. "We know we can't do that anymore. This causes long-term damage."

    And they needed to study athletes for this? They could have asked anyone who's ever done more than a week of front-line tech support.

    Briefly, the degree of mental impairment is roughly proportional to the depth of the worn-out concavity in the desk. The rates at which both measurements increase over time show a logarithmic flattening-out as one progresses from front-line support to management.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Lord Faust (858859)
      I know you're being funny, but seriously, there's a huge difference between mild trauma and huge, 300+ pound men smashing into each other. (Mass * Velocity)^2 = your brain is mush. There has not been nearly enough research into this subject; the actual effects of the trauma, both over long and short-term periods of time. This information will help everyone, not just athletes. It just so happens athletes experience massive numbers of concussions; hopefully their sacrifices will help benefit anyone experien
    • by ciaohound (118419)

      Perhaps not surprisingly, regression testing reveals a high correlation between desk concavity and temporal follicular density (in layman's terms, "pointy-hairedness").

  • nobrainer (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Whoever tagged this "nobrainer" deserves a cookie. :)

  • by qoncept (599709) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @05:26PM (#26629013) Homepage
    The thing that is probably going to be lost on 99% of the people reading this article and thinking the "dumb jocks" deserve it is the affects of sitting in a chair for many hours staring at monitors and making the same repetative movements day after day.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by MrEricSir (398214)

      At first your comment made me want to bang my head against the desk, but I know better than to do that now.

    • Yes but that's all that these 'athletes' do is bang their heads together repeatedly day in day out, so it's a worse kind of crazy because you don't get the time to develop proper psychotic tendencies some one in a cube farm might*.

      *I don't know I've never worked in one, but I think I might go crazy in one.

  • "The idea that you can whack your head hundreds of times in your life and knock yourself out and get up and be fine is gone," said [retired wrestler] Nowinski. "We know we can't do that anymore. This causes long-term damage."

    Wow! This is absolutely shocking news! I never would've guessed that repeated damage to a single organ/body part would have lasting effects....
  • Fixed it for them. Take some of these [slashdot.org]
  • Physical sports where concussion's occur are not going to go away. People will always sacrifice their body for potential fame and fortune. The fallacy of "a concussion will never happen to me or have lasting effects" is strong amongst young people, those typically playing these types of sports. Plus, using football as an example, is so ingrained in North American society: from high school through to college/university to a Professional paying job that the game will not go away. What needs to change is t
    • I doubt it, our society in it's current form, with it's selfish economy, violent sports, and warlike nature is way too volatile, corrupt, and short-sighted to last. I'd give it another 100 years, 200 max. Egypt lasted 5000 years, but that's not us. When I think of America, I tend to think of Rome.

  • Turns out that repeated concussions can result in depression, insomnia, and the beginnings of something that looks a lot like Alzheimer's. "The idea that you can whack your head hundreds of times in your life and knock yourself out and get up and be fine is gone,"

    But this has been fairly obvious since Mohammed Ali [wikipedia.org]...

    • I agree with you in spirit, but the plural of anecdote is not data.

      Also, please read up on Ali. What he so visible suffers from is Parkinson's... he's not a good study example for Alzheimers-like syndromes, since some Alzheimers-like complications could be masked by the Parkinson's. And we don't know if his boxing had any impact on the Parkinson's, either. All of these are issues supporting my first statement about making generalizations from a single sample.
  • I could look at any video of Muhammad Ali made in the last 20 years.
  • by rts008 (812749) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @05:51PM (#26629429) Journal

    This is nothing new, and has been described and studied for decades as 'Dementia pugilistica' [wikipedia.org], and ..."first described in 1928 by Harrison Stanford Martland in a Journal of the American Medical Association article..."[from the above linked wiki article]

    Having watched the changes in both George Foreman and Cassius Clay(AKA Mohammed Ali) over the years in interviews, this was pretty obvious even to a medical layman.

    • Blame the gloves? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by old_dragoon (1462963)
      I have read several places that for a fighter to be "punch drunk" was not known during the bareknuckle days. It makes sense that the heavy gloves allow a man to hit his opponent harder in the head than he could otherwise. One proponent of this opinion was Louis L'Amour. Better known for being a great western writer, he also had a long and successful career as a heavy-weight fighter.
  • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @05:54PM (#26629485) Homepage
    To be honest even considering the money they make I don't think it'd worth it to have a body and mind that will be worthless well before it should be.

    These are grown men playing children's games. It's quite sad how worked up people can get over something so insignificant as sports while at the same time they're typically not into keeping themselves fit.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Skyshadow (508) *
      'Professional'-level sporting events have been a constant for the entire span of human civilization, from the guys getting paid big bucks in the NFL now to the chariot races of Rome to the well-moviated players of the mesoamerican ballgame.

      Going out on a limb here I'm going to guess that, your feelings on the subject aside, sports do fill a certain basic requirement in human society.

  • Nowinski? (Score:5, Funny)

    by loshwomp (468955) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @05:55PM (#26629491)

    Never bet on the guy named "Nowinski". He's never won anything.

  • Damn.

    There's this football player from my High School who once smeared crap all over the bathroom of the fast food restaurant at which I was working . . . several minutes after he saw me sweeping the floors and repeatedly asked if I worked there.

    Now, after twenty years of designing, building, and testing a Piranha-infested Lap Pool of Doom to torture the bastard in, I learn that he's probably already a Depends-clad imbecile. What's the sport in luring to his doom through a fiendish social engineering scheme

  • Given the large number of althletes who do not have any of these symptoms, but are injured in the same way; it is great that there is a body of knowledge out there to encourage those to be tested as well so there can be a sort of "control" group. I would think it would help deturmine "what kind" or "what extent" of damage the brain can handle and what health factors make others less susceptible to the symptoms (genetics, cell density, injury location, protien/biochemical differences, etc.)

    I'm not a doctor
  • by geekmux (1040042) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @06:02PM (#26629599)

    "The idea that you can whack your head hundreds of times in your life and knock yourself out and get up and be fine is gone....We know we can't do that anymore."

    Just curious in what medical journal was this ever listed outside of the No-Shit-Sherlock section?

    Unreal what a Common Sense deficiency can do to a person.

  • I can tell you from my time in high school that the brain damage in football players actually occurs far before their professional careers.

  • Captain Obvious strikes again. Although, quantifying the effects is certainly a useful undertaking.

    The problem is that this will surely encourage proponents of the continued woosification of America.

    Are we supposed to live our lives in plastic bubbles eating only bean curd?
  • Me loose brain? (Score:3, Informative)

    by SupremoMan (912191) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @06:42PM (#26630205)

    Uh oh!

    Why me laugh?

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