Joint Complaint

The NFL will have to battle a much bigger “force” rather than many small forces when it comes to the law suits filed by the former players.  The some 80 different cases will be brought together into one “master complaint” to be heard in Philadelphia;

A federal judicial panel has consolidated the cases before U.S. District Judge Anita Brody. The lawsuits aim to hold the NFL responsible for medical monitoring and treatment of the veteran players.

The plaintiffs include Mary Ann Easterling, the widow of former Atlanta Falcons safety Roy Easterling. The complaint comes less than two months after the 62-year-old Easterling shot himself at their Richmond, Va., home.

According to The Los Angeles Times, a teleconference is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. ET on Thursday to address the filing. Mary Ann Easterling and former NFL fullback Kevin Turner are scheduled to speak.

People can look at this from two different perspectives here: 1. the players will have more “resources” and represent a larger group, or 2. the NFL only has to win one case versus 80.  Either way it makes a ton of sense for those filing the complaint, after all there is safety in numbers, right?

Girls Soccer Story Follow Up – NBC

In response to the overwhelming reaction to their report on concussions among high school girls playing soccer, “Rock Center’s” Kate Snow goes to New Jersey, Florida, Texas and California to dig deeper into the danger, and the psyche of these young girls and their families. Many have responded to the risk by wearing special headgear advertised as protecting against concussions, but Snow discovers that the reality may be very different. It’s a piece of reporting no parent should miss.  (VIDEO PREVIEW LINK IS BELOW )

VIDEO LINK

Rock Center With Brian Williams will air this episode tonight as the new season begins at 10EST/9CST.  It will bring up the physics of concussion, and how the headgear is supposed to work and the potential problems of that logic.  Here is an excerpt from the associated print preview; Continue reading

Summer Vacation Ramblings

Over the past few years during the months of June and July there is relatively “slow” news coming out about concussions and research.  Never fear I will keep my ear to the ground.  However since it tends to be slower now – keep checking the comment section Concerned Mom seems to find them all – I will be posting random things; maybe humor, maybe thoughts on other things (I will not wade into politics).  I most likely will stick to thinks I know.

Here is my first contribution to the “Ramblings” section, a YouTube video that makes me laugh!

Dorsett Talks About His Battle

Tony Dorsett, NFL Hall of Fame member, was one of the most high-profile players to join the ever-growing law suits against the NFL.  It may have shocked some, however his name and now his words only go to help with the awareness of concussions, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk writes;

“There are some good days and there are some bad days,” Dorsett told the Beaver County (Pa.) Times earlier this week, in connection with the 20th annual Tony Dorsett/McGuire Memorial Celebrity Golf Classic.  “So I am being proactive instead of inactive.”

Dorsett works out regularly and eats well, and he’s considering experimentation wit a hyperbaric chamber, a device Ravens receiver Anquan Boldin recently said he may use to assist with the health of his brain.

“I can slow the process down . . . there’s optimism about that,” Dorsett said.  “I feel if I can slow it down, I can stop it.  I’m not waiting to see if I’ll be nonfunctional.”

Dorsett believes that the concussion lawsuits, which now involve more than Continue reading

Quick Hits

One catcher returns, another goes on the DL for concussion.  Carlos Santana of the Indians is scheduled to return from his stint on the DL for concussion while Angels Bobby Wilson was struck with a foul ball;

Bobby Wilson knew something was wrong when, while catching the second inning against the Seattle Mariners Monday night, he said he “felt like I could fall asleep right there behind home plate.”

Wilson took a foul ball off the facemask in the first and was replaced by John Hester in the bottom of the second. Tuesday, Wilson was put on the seven-day concussion disabled list and replaced on the roster by catcher Hank Conger, who was recalled from triple-A Salt Lake.

“It was the same feeling I had the last time,” said Wilson, who suffered a concussion in a plate collision with Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira in his first big league start on April 23, 2010. “My face felt like it was on fire. I was drowsy, fatigued, in a fog.”

==========

NFL running back not thinking about future injury, nor should he.  Javid Best of the Detroit Lions Continue reading

Speaking of Biomarkers…

How about this information out of Canada, from the Montreal Gazette;

The new study enrolled 295 people – 96 of whom had a mild or moderate concussion. They were compared to two “control” groups: normal adult volunteers without any injuries whatsoever, and “non-head injured” patients treated in emergency after a car crash or with a broken bone, but no head trauma.

Some earlier proteins studied in brain injuries have also been found in bones. “So if a patient has multiple trauma with a broken leg and head injury, we can’t tell if the protein is coming from the broken leg, or the brain,” Papa said.

Her team found two proteins were higher only in the blood of patients with a brain injury. “Patients who walked off the street had almost no levels of marker in their blood – we detected almost nothing,” she said.

They took it to the next level by comparing the blood tests to CT scans. The more severe the brain lesions, Continue reading

Will Biomarkers be the Next Step?

The current imaging techniques available to the doctors and clinicians do not allow for a diagnosis of concussion or related degenerative issues of the brain.  There has been information about promising breakthroughs, Dr. Bennet Omalu’s interview, however there may be a way to compare and even diagnose if dialed in correctly.

The only issue is that this type of information gathering is invasive, but it does indeed show promise as various companies have been working on a process to gather information.  Thanks to the website Sports Medicine Research: In the Lab & In the Field I was able to read a paper concerning such biomarkers in boxers;

No difference were found between boxers and controls within their medical and social history. Only 1 boxer had current concussion signs and symptoms listed on the questionnaire. Both, boxers and control groups had no symptoms of concussion on their neurological exam, MRI, or neuropsychological examination. Boxers had significantly elevated concentrations of GFAP and NFL at both acute and long-term tests compared to controls. T-tau and S-100b were also significantly elevated in boxers compared to control but only during the acute test period.

Repetitive head trauma in boxing may be associated with increased risk of chronic traumatic brain injury. Analysis of biomarkers can assist in understanding the pathology associated, at a molecular level, with concussions. Furthermore, some biomarkers may be sensitive enough to detect subclinical brain responses to repetitive head impacts and could possibly be used to predict the risk of the patient having a prolong recovery or long-term effects. In this role, biomarkers may be able to prevent-long term effects if they can be eventually used to improve return to play guidelines.

You can read how the study was framed and run in the link above, however I feel this may be the important part.  The two prominent biomarkers above are Continue reading