Uncertainty can be happiness

"Security is a false god," or running around the world as an FSO

The hidden depths of the mind…

Posted by quirksalight on January 19, 2007

Brain damage is one of the black boxes of science; Not so much in the physical trauma, but in the damage to the cognitive capabilities of the patient.
A New York Times column from January 18, 2007, “Expert Ties Ex-Player’s Suicide to Brain Damage” brought this up recently with the severe personality change of Andre Waters, an ex-Philadelphia Eagles lineman, and his subsequent suicide.
What is the long term effect of repetitive concussions to the brain? No one knows. You see professional sports players ending their careers early due to too much brain trauma in all sports, not just the NFL.
However, impact injury to the head isn’t just one hit to the brain. Often, it’s multiple impacts to the brain tissue itself as the brain literally bounces off the inside of the skull.
There is a good reason why ping pongs are not made of soft materials; if they were, the balls would get destroyed after a couple of hits. So how is it any different for a soft brain getting hit multiple times?
The fact that head injuries can severely impact us later in life isn’t something new. Muhammad Ali is clear example of a professional athlete suffering from cognitive deficincies later in life due to reptitive head trauma. What we are just beginning to realize is the sheer number of people who may be affected now and in the future.
Clarification: Muhammad Ali has parkinson’s disease (PD), which is a neurodegenerative condition of unknown origin. There is a statistical correlation between severe head trauma and PD; from 4 to 11 fold greater chance of having PD with incidence of severe head trauma.


2 Responses to “The hidden depths of the mind…”

  1. unitedcats said

    It would seem that “repeated blows to the head is a bad idea” would be a no brainer so to speak (sorry.) It’s stuff like boxing and similar sports that makes me suspect we’re not yet an intelligent species. JMO —Doug

  2. Robertco said

    Will this make my Philadelphia Eagles stocks on trendio rise? http://www.trendio.com/word.php?language=en&wordid=255

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