Subject: PSA release: NFL Players and Coaches stand together to cure ALSHi everyone…I hope this email finds you well…Just wanted to let you know that beginning today, we at Team Gleason are rolling out a new ALS awareness campaign to be introduced this week in New Orleans for the Super Bowl.Here’s a link to the video, which takes viewers directly to the Team Gleason website:
For many years the “government” has kept its collective mouth shut about happenings in sports. Occasionally they will make statements regarding the health of players in sports; case in point steroids and PED’s. The highest football league in the States and world has often had little resistance from “government” while doing business, until now.
The Department of Health and Human Services along with The Center for Disease Control and The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health have released an NFL Notification about brain and nervous system disorders. The NFL Notification can be found by clicking on the jump above. Here are the highlights;
- In general, brain and nervous system disorders were more than 3 times higher among players; 17 players died with Alzheimer’s, ALS, or Parkinson’s compared to 5 men in the U.S. (see graph).
- More speed position players died from these disorders compared to the non-speed position players.
- ALS was 4 times higher among players; 7 players died with ALS compared to fewer than 2 men in the U.S.
- Alzheimer’s was 4 times higher among players; 7 players died with Alzheimer’s compared to fewer than 2 men in the U.S.
- Parkinson’s was not increased among players compared to men in the U.S.
This is not “old” news rather, it is confirming what has already been known, but Continue reading
This information was not only new, but really took up time on the airwaves with its information. For some this may be a head scratching, but for most in the know it was really confirmation of what the popular line of thinking has been. Really, if you think about this in a vacuum, brain trauma is bad, and increased exposure over long periods of time is real bad.
Here is a recap from CTVNews in Canada;
Former NFL players appear to be at an unusually high risk of dying from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or Lou Gehrig’s disease, suggests a new study that once again highlights the dangers of the game of football.
The study, which appears in the journal Neurology, found that the death rate from those three diseases among a group of former NFL players was about three times what one would expect from the general population.
The study looked at 3,439 former players who had at least five playing seasons from 1959-1988 with the NFL. The average age of the study participants was 57 and only 334 players – about 10 per cent of them – have now died.
Researchers compared the players’ deaths to a comparable group of American men and found that in 10 of the former NFL players, either Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or Lou Gehrig’s disease (also called ALS) was listed as the cause of death.
That’s about three times the general rate for American men, the researchers reported.
I would also like to take this time to make sure we are not vilifying the NFL or football for that matter. Sure the sport has plenty of brain injury, but concussions and repetitive blows to the head are not unique to the gridiron. Soccer for one is a sport that is both understudied and had potential for chronic cases. In the sport of baseball the catcher position is an area of concern. Hockey, rugby, rodeo, Aussie Rules all have a place in this discussion.
Mostly, remember that kids are now exposed to sports at a much younger age then this study group, and the group also was playing before the 90’s – before everyone got bigger, faster and stronger.
We have written about Kevin Turner before; a former NFL player and Alabama stud who is now dealing with the effects of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Turner has started a foundation in his name where they are raising money and awareness about ALS and the workings of the Sports Legacy Institute (SLI) as it relates to CTE.
Yesterday Rachel Baribeau, on her show Barbo & Scarbo (Kevin Scarbinsky), interviewed Kevin Turner on 97.3 The Zone out of Birmingham. It is such a profound interview that I encourage everyone to take a listen. You can CLICK HERE for the podcast.
The perseverance of Kevin Turner is and SHOULD be Continue reading
His name is Kevin Turner and was a bruising fullback for the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots. Tim Graham of ESPN.com has a very deep story on Turner and his life, falling apart after a diagnosis of ALS.
Yet if he knew then what he knows today, he’d be torn about pulling out of Prattville.
“If they would have come to me and said, ‘I’ve seen the future. This is what happens.’ Of course, I would stop playing immediately,” Turner said. “But, as we all know, nobody can see the future. For me, it just falls into a long line of bad decisions.”
Turner is divorced. He went bankrupt on bum real estate investments. He was addicted to painkillers for a couple of years. None of those problems are the worst of it.
Ten months ago, the 41-year-old father of three was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the incurable neuromuscular disorder commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Turner’s arms don’t work well, his hands even less. His pinch strength, a measurement of the strength generated by the thumb and forefinger, is one pound. That’s comparable to an infant. He doesn’t have enough might to squeeze toothpaste out of a tube.
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.