Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Thinking About a Career in the NFL?

Terrifying story for any current or retired NFL player out there (or really, anyone who has gotten a lot of concussions--hockey players and professional wrestlers should probably be included).  

A study (helped pushed by a former WWE'r, Chris Nowinski, who I remember when he was just a snot-nosed Harvard kid trying out on MTV's Tough Enough) that is looking at the brains of deceased NFL players is finding out some really, really troubling shit.

Snips follow:  from the CNN article (though really, you should go and read it, just to see the images and huge difference between healthy brain and NFL brain).

Far from innocuous, invisible injuries, concussions confer tremendous brain damage. That damage has a name: chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
CTE has thus far been found in the brains of six out of six former NFL players.

"What's been surprising is that it's so extensive," said [Dr. Ann] McKee. "It's throughout the brain, not just on the superficial aspects of the brain, but it's deep inside."


"I knew what traumatic brain disease looked like in the very end stages, in the most severe cases," said McKee. "To see the kind of changes we're seeing in 45-year-olds is basically unheard of."

The damage affects the parts of the brain that control emotion, rage, hypersexuality, even breathing, and recent studies find that CTE is a progressive disease that eventually kills brain cells.

That is just scary.  They've got 100 guys who have pledged to donate their brains, and given that all these guys are dying in their mid-40's, the doctors should have quite a study ahead of them in the next decade or so.

Given the NFL's history with this sort of the thing, you'll probably be unsurprised to learn two things:  1) the players seem a little bit pissed about this information; 2) the NFL is funding their own study.

1 comment:

Muumuuman said...

So, how many years of life did McGhee loose with that hit in the AFC playoff game? Is O.J. a crazed homicidal MF only because his brain is jello?