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Medicine

Brain Disease Found In NFL Players 271

Posted by Soulskill
from the do-you-mean-smashing-your-head-isn't-safe dept.
SternisheFan sends this excerpt from ABC: "On the heels of the latest NFL suicide, researchers announced today that 34 NFL players whose brains were studied suffered from CTE, a degenerative brain disease brought on by repeated hits to the head that results in confusion, depression and, eventually, dementia. The study was released just days after the murder-suicide of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher. It's not yet known what triggered Belcher's action, but they mirror other NFL players who have committed suicide. Researchers at Boston University's Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy published the largest case series study of CTE to date (abstract), according to the center. Of the 85 brains donated by the families of deceased veterans and athletes with histories of repeated head trauma, they found CTE in 68 of them. Of those, 34 were professional football players, nine others played college football and six played only high school football. Of the 35 professional football players' brains donated, only one had no evidence of the disease, according to the study." It's a good thing we protect our youth from conditions like this.
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Brain Disease Found In NFL Players

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  • by the_Bionic_lemming (446569) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @12:19AM (#42188225)

    Actually, they need to expand the study and find out what performance enhancers might be in use as well.

  • by pclminion (145572) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @02:32AM (#42188947)

    Belcher was no victim. He murdered his girlfriend in cold blood and then took the easy way out by killing himself before he could be brought to justice. I suppose his act could be described as rational (having just destroyed his entire life, what reason was there to go on?) But it wasn't brave, or honorable.

    It's possible that repeated hits to the head fucked him up, but we don't allow "I was fucked up your honor" as an excuse for other people, such as drunk drivers.

  • by Antipater (2053064) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @02:46AM (#42189001)

    BS; I used to get wrapped around the neck or face all the time while being tackled. You don't get impacts to the head (except from the ground), sure, but you do get it yanked, squeezed, clawed, and kicked. And nothing is worse than a large ruck collapsing and the weight of five or more large men pinning your head to the ground - that happened to me three times in the same game once. I couldn't see straight afterwards. It's true, though; you do see a lot less head trauma injuries in rugby (they are still there, though), thanks to the you-must-wrap-while-tackling rule. There is a corresponding increase in joint dislocation and ligament injuries, though, from my anecdotal experience. Tradeoffs.

    The point of football helmets has never been to protect the brain until just recently. It's been to protect the skull, the ears, the face, all the cosmetic stuff. But the brain? Nope. There's a new generation of helmets out there that are supposed to be better, but nobody wears them yet because, well, they're incredibly ugly. But with the increasing focus on concussions in the NFL this year, including the number of high-profile players who've been knocked out, I think we'll see them start to be adopted as early as next year.

  • Re:Darwin (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dryeo (100693) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @03:00AM (#42189079)

    Baby Orcas have a way better survival rate when they have living grandparents. Seems that growing old and helping your children raise your grandchildren enhances the chances of survival of your genes.

  • Re:Not surprising (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Alomex (148003) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @07:39AM (#42190125) Homepage

    but the hard facts are that fans want to see violence.

    This is a tautological statement. People who don't like violence turn off the TV and hence the remaining fans are the ones who like violence. But reality is that viewership would definitely go up if violence was eliminated.

    Presently, non-violent Olympic hockey gets the highest viewership figures by far both in the USA and Canada.

  • by MancunianMaskMan (701642) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @08:21AM (#42190309)
    Coming from the UK: maybe they should play without helmets. Helmets are banned in the sport of Rugby because they cause the players to play too rough.

"Right now I feel that I've got my feet on the ground as far as my head is concerned." -- Baseball pitcher Bo Belinsky

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