Follow Up Story On Gupta Show

CNN presented an article today to outline the upcoming show on Sunday;

“You expect a pristine brain. I saw a brain that was riddled with tau proteins. I was stunned at how similar that brain was to the boxers who lived into their 70s,” she said. Tau proteins are the same type of proteins found in brains of Alzheimer’s patients.

We have also highlighted the tragic story of Nathan Stiles here.  Remember to set you DVR if you are looking for more insight into this issue. (Thanks MS for the email).

Knowing Is Half The (UPDATE)

UPDATE: Thanks to commenter @SpMedConcepts I should write that one test is just a piece to the puzzle.  And a comprehensive testing procedure that includes all of the available “baselines” and assessments should be used.  It becomes more difficult to cloud the picture with deception when using this approach.

Knowing about concussions is one thing, but knowing that players may take advantage of the system is another factor.  Like anything else in this world people will look to exploit weaknesses in systems to gain an advantage.  After all isn’t that the crux of competition and sports?  We have seen Irv Muchnick open up the dialogue on Ritalin as a possible way to “cheat the system” and now Alex Marvez of Fox Sports tells us the other, more obvious way to “cheat the system”;

Dr. Daniel Amen, who has treated current and former players for post-concussion symptoms, said some of his clients have confessed to fudging the initial baseline tests administered by NFL teams. By doing so, Amen said those players are seeking quicker clearance to return from any future head injuries they might suffer.

If the baseline tests are to be used to compare then why try hard and excel at them, only to have that first test hinder their return?  This is the common question that the professional and adolescent athletes are dealing with.  Even though baseline tests, be it neurocognitive computer based or hand written like the SCAT2 or the new NFL test, are objective Continue reading

Concussions Bigger than Steroids?

Matt Chaney is a journalist, editor, teacher and publisher, and he too has a blog that is just getting up and going.  However, Chaney has published a book titled Spiral of Denial; Muscle Doping in American Football, so he is not new to finding and presenting good information.

Chaney sent me an email today alerting me to his most recent piece, and it is a good one;

By Matt Chaney

As a foremost authority on sport doping, Pennsylvania epidemiologist Charles E. Yesalis identifies a public health problem of longstanding: athletes’ use of anabolic steroids, stimulants and more drugs that permeate amateur and pro ranks.

But Yesalis, professor emeritus of health policy at Penn State, sees a larger issue rearing now, brain trauma, to threaten all contact sports and particularly American football.

“This is going to eclipse the drug problem, and it probably already has,” Yesalis said in a recent telephone interview. “I think the whole drug issue is passé, to some extent. You don’t see any protests at moment about drugs in sports. … Steroid fatigue is all over the place, and I think people have just accepted it, deciding to go along.”

“But I really think that tackle football is in trouble (for concussions),” Yesalis continued. “Football is clearly the No.1 game in American sports, and it does not look good from an epidemiological standpoint.”

You can read more on this by clicking HERE.

In the entire post you will see how the Nathan Stiles case was viewed by Dr. Robert Cantu, a renowned neurologist of Boston University and the Sports Legacy Institute.  Cantu does not completely believe the medical examiners report of an undiagnosed or missed subdural hematoma.

Thank you for the email and story Matt!

Kansas City Area Athlete Dies

Nathan Stiles of Spring Hill High School died Thursday night after a football game.  Jim Sullinger and Brad Cooper of the Kansas City Star reported on this tragic incident yesterday.  According to his father Nathan had a concussion during his homecoming game but did not note any significant hits during the game.

This could be the first direct football death nationwide this year, said Fred Mueller, director of the National Center for Catastrophic Injury Research at the University or North Carolina Chapel Hill.