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League of Denial (To be released October 8) (1 Viewer)

cobalt_27

Footballguy
Ok, let's do this. The issue of "denial" is going to focus on the long-term impact of concussions and the proposed theory that they cause a distinct neurodegenerative disorder called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). And #### is going to hit the fan.

Rather than provide my own preliminary commentary, let me offer an excerpt from a recent editorial by Kevin Guskiewicz, Ph.D., who is an immensely well-renowned concussion researcher, who has been a voice of reason, and eloquently expresses in this editorial the opinion currently shared by the majority of the neuroscience community:

http://www.natajournals.org/doi/full/10.4085/1062-6050-48.4.14

Kevin M. Guskiewicz , PhD, ATC, FNATA, FACSM

Pick up a newspaper or watch the evening news or Sports Center, and you're bound to read or hear something about sport concussion. The media are obsessed with this topic, particularly with the negative news that makes headlines and ultimately sells newspapers. Even so, there is good news to report, and progress is being made.

Although the neuroscience community has learned much about concussion in the last 2 decades, admittedly, we have much more to investigate and to understand. The tests for detecting concussion and tracking recovery are becoming more sensitive, especially when used in combination with other tools to create a multimodal approach to concussion assessment.

Despite all that has been accomplished, caring for athletes at risk for sustaining cerebral concussion has always been a challenging task and never more so than in today's litigious society. Concussion is different from other athletic injuries in that we still rely heavily on an athlete's subjective reporting of symptoms for decision making, and we lack the neuroimaging protocols that might allow us to see the damage and understand its severity. The cause-and-effect relationships, or lack of same, between repetitive head trauma and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) are the subject of significant debate. Several published case reports have described τ protein deposits in the brains of deceased contact-sport athletes, but most of the neuroscience community does not believe that controlled experimental research has yet identified a causal relationship linking repetitive head trauma in sports and CTE.
 

32 Counter Pass

Footballguy
Serious issue with serious ramifications for the future of the NFL in terms of the quality of the product because it filters down through all levels of the sport.

What fascinates me is the proposition: What is fame and fortune worth in terms of a person's quality life and longevity?

I have heard some player's who already suffer from the effects of brain trauma say they have no regrets and would do it over again if they could. But would they if they had ALL the information and could see the results of their decision?

 

Zigg

Footballguy
Serious question, what are the risks of equipment v. no equipment? It seems helmets are causing more injuries than they are preventing.

 

Vector

Footballguy
In the end this is a PR exercise and image control effort that is/will be undertaken by the NFL. The NFL is way too big to fail and grease will be applied to soothe this issue.

Just like global warming, the vast majority agree that the problem exists but no concrete changes are really put in place to address the problem.

jmo

 

Warrior

Footballguy
Poor guys. Being forced against their will to play a game for millions of $'s despite the slight risk of concussions.

:rolleyes:

 

cobalt_27

Footballguy
Zigg said:
Serious question, what are the risks of equipment v. no equipment? It seems helmets are causing more injuries than they are preventing.
Helmets protect agains catastrophic injuries, such as skull fractures and intracranial bleeds, which were much more common in the early-to-mid-1900s before the modern helmet was manufactured and required in football. As for concussions, there's no way helmets will ever fully protect against acceleration-deceleration forces that cause the brain to slam into the inside of the skull. Newer technologies will come out, but I am not holding my breath that they will ever offer substantial reduction to concussion-related injuries. I think rule changes and training advances (e.g., while still speculative, neck strength have been associated with lower incidence of concussion in at least one peer-reviewed article I've seen) will likely yield some reduction in concussions, but they will never go away.

Bottom line, I'll take the helmet and concussion injuries over no helmet and intracranial bleeding/death.

 

cobalt_27

Footballguy
Vector said:
In the end this is a PR exercise and image control effort that is/will be undertaken by the NFL. The NFL is way too big to fail and grease will be applied to soothe this issue.

Just like global warming, the vast majority agree that the problem exists but no concrete changes are really put in place to address the problem.

jmo
Well, they are doing just that. $30 million in funding to BU research, another $10 m to. NIH I believe. I'm pretty sure by the end of the decade, they will have well over 9 figures invested in brain injury research.

I disagree with your second statement, though. The vast majority in the neuroscience fields, while quite happy that concussions are finally being regarded as serious medical issues, are quite concerned about how cavalier a few research labs have made conclusions about the long-lasting effects of concussions and CTE without sufficient science and epidemiological work to back up their claims at this point. This link is far from being established, and many of us will remain skeptical until better science can demonstrate this proposed association.

 

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