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Monday, December 3, 2012

What 85 Donated Brains Reveal About Sports Concussions

In December 2011, trainers tend to Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy after he was hit by Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh. (Don Wright/AP)

In what The Boston Globe is calling the most extensive study of its kind to date, researchers at Boston University have found that the brains of deceased athletes and military veterans had signs of brain damage after repeated head injuries.

The results are from the autopsies of 85 brain donors, including two high school football players who died in their teens. The study comes amid increasing concerns about the dangers of head injuries in contact sports.

Boston University neurosurgeon Robert Cantu, who co-authored the paper, said the sheer size of the study should put to rest any doubt that chronic traumatic encephalopathy - a progressive and degenerative disease of the brain - is real, and is caused by repeated head injuries.

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  • RAOUL ORNELAS

    ‘What 85 Donated Brains Reveal About Sports Concussions’

    I played a lot of football and I have small lifetime injuries that I have learned to live with. If I had a choice to live my life over, I would not have engaged in the sport of football. The problem with football and other high risk sports how testosterone drives ones thinking and actions from eight to thirty years of age; its about biology and reproduction. Football is just another biological tool to attract ones mate for reproduction and testosterone is the driver – one believes he is invincible and is oblivious to injury. Football is no different than some ram in the rockies butting another ram for the privilege of mating with the healthiest to preserve a strong DNA gene pool. Football is dangerous and those whom say it is not, are governed by testosterone non common sense thinking.  Today the football injury problem is greater than say in early 60′s, why is this? When ones testosterone is a peak levels and is coupled to high performance steroid drug use, you have a 300 pound monster machine of muscle whom is able to run a hundred meters in almost olympic time, this person is able cause serious damage to anyone on and off the playing field including to himself.Question: Is testosterone governing Grover Norquist’s Alice In Wonderland no taxes for the wealthy pledge? Is Grover’s inhumane actions against the middle and lower classes governed by an old football brain injury?

  • RAOUL ORNELAS

    ‘What 85 Donated Brains Reveal About Sports Concussions’

    I played a lot of football and I have small lifetime injuries that I have learned to live with. If I had a choice to live my life over, I would not have engaged in the sport of football. The problem with football and other high risk sports how testosterone drives ones thinking and actions from eight to thirty years of age; its about biology and reproduction. Football is just another biological tool to attract ones mate for reproduction and testosterone is the driver – one believes he is invincible and is oblivious to injury. Football is no different than some ram in the rockies butting another ram for the privilege of mating with the healthiest to preserve a strong DNA gene pool. Football is dangerous and those whom say it is not, are governed by testosterone non common sense thinking.  Today the football injury problem is greater than say in early 60′s, why is this? When ones testosterone is a peak levels and is coupled to high performance steroid drug use, you have a 300 pound monster machine of muscle whom is able to run a hundred meters in almost olympic time, this person is able cause serious damage to anyone on and off the playing field including to himself.Question: Is testosterone governing Grover Norquist’s Alice In Wonderland no taxes for the wealthy pledge? Is Grover’s inhumane actions against the middle and lower classes governed by an old football brain injury?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2GWPK6SIYKUCG5QFYEHZBSYSWE Layne

    My father is 74 years old and has early Alzheimer’s/Dementia. He had two major head traumas as a child and one in an industrial accident about 20 years ago. I’m certain these injuries contributed to his condition. 

  • Keeley Weening

    Thank you for this program.  I found it fascinating.  My daughter has had three concussions within an 18 month period (snowboarding, car accident and falling on stairs).  She only now seems to be “healing”.  I worry about her, she is 20 years old, and I am so glad to hear about this type of research.  There is so much more to be learned about brain trauma.

  • Troy Lewis

    I am one of these people. I was given the assumed diagnosis of CTE 2 years ago . I have few doubts that I have this and felt the need to donate  upon my death, and also participate in additional research. It is very difficult to imagine the growing number of people who will be touched by CTE,both the sufferer and loved ones,and have intimate knowledge of  the tough journeys they have. I am grateful for  SLI and CSTE as places that are going to make these journeys easier. I know its a ways off, but there will be solutions and answers arise from this research, and from the donors and their families, that make a difference. There is a definite move to education,prevention and correct treatment of concussions. That is a direct result of both the sad stories of the donors and the motivated work of researchers. I sincerely thank all of those people.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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