Aloof, that is one way to characterize Ricky Williams. The one time dominant running back in the sport of football who retired early to pursue “peace” and smoke dope only to come back to earn more money has discounted the link of repeated brain trauma and degenerative brain diseases, written up by Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk;
But as his career ends (even though some think he’ll be back), Williams dismisses the link between concussions and brain damage.
Which perhaps conclusively proves it.[…]
“I’m only speaking from my personal experience, because I haven’t allowed myself to buy it, and I haven’t been affected. Yes, I’m aware that football is a rough sport, but instead of saying, ‘Oh — I’m doomed to brain trauma,” I said, ‘What can I do about it?’ And I just started taking care of my body. I found people, places, and things that really helped me — again, I don’t know what’s going to happen to me in 10 years, but I look at the other things I’ve learned about, and the way I see the world.
Maybe it was his dreadlocks that provided extra protection when he played, or perhaps it was his medicinal use of the wacky tobaccy, what ever it was it seems that Ricky is like many in the pro football world – head meet sand.
Mounting evidence has not shown a direct link, but what it has shown is that people who participate in collision sports show disproportionately higher rates of such things as Alzheimer’s, dementia, and even CTE. Will there be a conclusive link one day, I don’t know, but logically thinking ramming your head thousands of times against objects cannot be improving your brain health…
Perhaps Ricky should listen to the following podcast:
“NFL Hall of Famer Harry Carson joins former NBC anchor Stone Phillips and pathologist Bennet Omalu for a discussion of chronic traumatic encephalopathy among football players. Recorded May 12th at the Ensemblestudiotheatre.org, site of the new play Headstrong about the brain injury issue.”
BU also came out with a study in mice indicating that IEDs can result in brain damage (by whipping head around). I think the study may have been released the other day.
Here’s the link to the study:
“A “blast wind” of 330 mph whips the brain about violently, damaging cells and blood vessels and triggering a cascade of events that lead to a destructive buildup of a tau protein in the brain — evidence of CTE. “You may be getting in one blast exposure the equivalent of multiple hits on the playing field,” Goldstein said.”
Interesting 6 min. interview with Dr. Ann McKee … positive things to note are that they are working on how to interrupt/reverse degenration … and, not everyone exposed to blasts/concussive injuries will get a degenerative disease
“Traumatic brain injuries are common among veterans of the wars in Iraq and Aghanistan. A new study suggests that the longer term consequences of those injuries are more serious than previously thought, and they’re similar to what many athletes experience as a result of head injuries. Anchor Lisa Mullins speaks to Ann McKee, a neurologist with the VA in Boston and an author of the new study. “
Wow, following the link to the actual interview is … rather interesting.