View Full Version : New Research - Long Term Brain Injury

Discipline of Steel
02-13-2011, 12:31 PM
I had previously asserted on this board that explosive, concussion causing blows to the head were NOT primarily responsible for long term brain injury. I speculated that repeated, smaller blows to the head would accumulate over time and lead to injury as well. My evidence was that a lot of the long term brain injuries being revealed today are with former offensive linemen. (steroids notwithstanding)

Before you all laugh again, remember whats at stake; Roger Goodell has wrongly, and very publicly, fined James Harrison for his explosive tackles, as an example that the league is serious about brain injuries. On the other hand, no action or acknowledgment has been forwarded by the NFL in regards to the accumulation of repeated, smaller blows.(ok theyre still quietly working on the helmets) Either Goodell is ignorant of the repeated blows issue or he ignored a serious approach for economic concerns or he was selective against players scoring highlight reel defensive plays based on some personal moral code.

Anyway, the new research was presented in Feb, 2011 National Geographic Magazine (no link). Summarized as follows:

New research suggests that even small hits to the head may lead to brain deterioration over time...athletes may face risk of long-term brain injury from hits accumulated over time...Brain degeneration from repeated blows to the head has been known in boxers since the 1920s, punch drunk...H. Hunt Batjer, a Northwestern nuerosurgeon who co-chairs the NFL Head, Neck, and Spine Committee, "Whats come to the fore is the risk of repetitive minor hit injuries...recent research indicates that small impacts can cause as much damage as big ones"...Military experts are collaborating with the NFL on better helmets.

02-13-2011, 06:10 PM
Who would argue that repeated small impacts wouldn't cause problems? Every hit needs to be 'fixed' and if no time is given between them, damage will be somewhat permanent. And everyone is different.

Discipline of Steel
02-13-2011, 06:42 PM
Well it was Goodells arguement that the explosive hit were causing concussions and therefore responsible for the long-term brain injury. It was his reationalization for stepping up fine enforcement in the middle of the season. This research indicates his focus was off the mark, let alone very poorly timed. Do you expect to hear him proclaim against the helmet to helmet hits OL suffer on every snap? There is no way he can address it as an issue without totally ruining his sport. Its just another reason why going after the big hitters on defense was the wrong can of worms to open.

NC Steeler Fan
02-14-2011, 02:00 PM
I read that National Geographic article too and pretty much thought the same thing.

They are never going to be able to legislate the hits that "still hurt" out of the game. They
might as well play flag football...