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NIH Neuroscientists: Junior Seau Had Brain Disease Caused By Hits To the Head 240

McGruber writes "ABC News/ESPN broke the story that a team of scientists from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) analyzed the brain tissue of renowned NFL linebacker Junior Seau and have concluded that the football player suffered a debilitating brain disease likely caused by two decades worth of hits to the head. From the article: 'In May 2012, Seau, 43 — football's monster in the middle, a perennial all-star and defensive icon in the 1990s whose passionate hits made him a dominant figure in the NFL — shot himself in the chest at his home in Oceanside, Calif., leaving behind four children and many unanswered questions.' As Slashdot earlier reported, more than 30 NFL players have in recent years been diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a condition once known as 'punch drunk' because it affected boxers who had taken multiple blows to the head."
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NIH Neuroscientists: Junior Seau Had Brain Disease Caused By Hits To the Head

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  • Go figure. (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 10, 2013 @03:40PM (#42549759)

    Multiple hits cause chronic damage. That's why I kept my son out of hockey, and why I'll keep him out of football as well. Soccer and swimming seem relatively safe. Being Canadian, a lot of people rag on anyone who says that hockey is dangerous for hits (like that twit Don Cherry) but it's just obvious.

  • by MyLongNickName ( 822545 ) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @03:46PM (#42549865) Journal

    In fine Slashdot tradition, let's hear from 52 people telling us that correlation does not imply causation and that only people with brain trauma or predisposed to it play football.

  • by MichaelusWF ( 2225540 ) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @03:54PM (#42550001)
    Boxing used to be one of the biggest sports in the US, now it's a Vegas sideshow, and the whole "beating people retarded" problem is a pretty big reason why. It's not that people are ignoring boxing's problems, it's that they've already addressed them and the popularity of the sport has plummeted as a result. Most people don't want to box, it's hard to find people willing to fight for a pittance in return for guaranteed brain damage. (Note, by comparison, the popularity of MMA, which does not rely purely on knockouts to win -- you can still give someone brain damage, but it's not literally the only or even the easiest path to victory) Football, on the other hand, is something that a lot of people play starting as young as grade school. I've never seen a grade school boxing league, but I see ads for peewee football signups every year.
  • by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @04:05PM (#42550181)
    People make this argument against cushioned running shoes too (now that barefoot is the big thing) and I find it completely nonsensical. I can easily see where the padding might make you increase your activity to negate the padding, but I do not see that you would increase it so much as to be worse off than if the padding were not there. In the absence of data we are just playing thought experiments. If there is data that airbags, anti-lock brakes, or 4wd make cars less safe to due to overconfidence, that would be relevant.
  • by ganjadude ( 952775 ) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @04:14PM (#42550331) Homepage
    Thank you, I was going to reply with the same. Prior to the modern NFL players wore leather on their heads or nothing at all, and as someone who played pro rugby for 1 year myself, while it is more common for a rugby player to end up with a more severe injury, they dont happen as often. The gear worn by NFL players gives them a false sense of security, and as such they hit harder. If you have an exposed head, you are less likely to use your head as an attack point, something that NFL players do pretty much every play.
  • by Radres ( 776901 ) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @04:31PM (#42550583)

    Yet golf had unsurpassed popularity when Tiger Woods took over, and the predominantly white hockey still lags behind the other pro sports like football, basketball, and baseball.

  • Re:Phut Bawh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Applekid ( 993327 ) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @05:18PM (#42551063)

    Why does everything have to be a political argument? This mostly has to do with being humane. If you wouldn't want this to happen to yourself or your loved ones, why would you pay to see it happen to somebody else?

    Because for generations school funding had been diverted away from the fundamentals of an enriching education in favor of sanctioned sports. And as the public school system crumble with teachers and professionals alike saying we need to focus on education, our politicians gladly raise our taxes only for the windfall to again be mismanaged into non-priority academics.

    Best case is that it was blind loyalty to a stupid game of tribalism, worst case is that it's intentional to keep the cup rattling for more money.

How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."