ALS and Concussions


A research study delved into the association of ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease and head injury, more specific brain trauma.  Boston University and the VA published such information in Journal of Neuropathology & Experimental Neurology.

The New York Times (and you guessed it Alan Schwarz) posted about this research on August 17, 2010 and wrote the following;

Doctors at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Bedford, Mass., and the Boston University School of Medicine, the primary researchers of brain damage among deceased National Football League players, said that markings in the spinal cords of two players and one boxer who also received a diagnosis of A.L.S. indicated that those men did not have A.L.S. They had a different fatal disease, doctors said, caused by concussion like  trauma, that erodes the central nervous system in similar ways.

The Chicago Sun Times and their Soccer Blog wrote about the same thing on September 22, 2010, but how it has affected soccer players;

The findings could shed light on the increased incidence of ALS in contact sports. An Italian study of 7000 professional soccer players from 1970 to 2002 showed 18 of them diagnosed with ALS The study showed Serie players were seven times more susceptible than the non-playing population.

This is a serious issue and important finding, as the life long effects of concussions have yet to be fully discovered, in fact a lot has yet to be discovered on the frontier of the brain.

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