Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Thursday, January 24, 2013 8:10 pm

Football and CTE: Beginning of the end?

Filed under: Sad — Lex @ 8:10 pm
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From PBS’s Frontline:

Brain scans performed on five former NFL players revealed images of the protein that causes football-related brain damage — the first time researchers have identified signs of the crippling disease in living players.

Researchers who conducted the pilot study at UCLA described the findings as a significant step toward being able to diagnose the disease known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE, in living patients.

“I’ve been saying that identifying CTE in a living person is the Holy Grail for this disease and for us to be able make advances in treatment,” said Dr. Julian Bailes, co-director of NorthShore Neurological Institute in Evanston, Ill., and one of the study’s co-authors. “It’s not definitive and there’s a lot we still need to discover to help these people, but it’s very compelling. It’s a new discovery.”

If it turns out that we can now diagnose CTE in living patients — and that remains to be confirmed, I hasten to add — I think the NFL’s days as America’s Sport are numbered. I don’t think pro football could be either regulated or sued out of existence, but I think it probably would move well away from the center of popular culture toward the fringes. Put another way, well-off and middle-class kids would find other things to do with their time because their well-off and middle-class parents would probably insist on it, and a lot of the NFL’s current audience would find other things to do with its time as well, and so there would go the big advertisers and there would go most of the big money.

And there would still be young people poor and/or desperate enough to play the game for money even in the face of incontrovertible evidence that it was damaging their brains and shortening their lives.

Previously.

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Thursday, September 29, 2011 6:08 am

Lawsuit rings the NCAA’s bell

Filed under: Sad — Lex @ 6:08 am
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It was bound to happen, and now it has: Two former college football players have filed a class-action suit against the NCAA, alleging that it hasn’t protected players against concussions and the brain injury that can result from them. Dozens of former pro players sued the NFL in July.

This is an area in which we don’t know a lot. But we’re learning more, and the more we learn, the worse the news gets.

Previously.

Previously.

 

 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 8:48 pm

Genius

Filed under: Cool! — Lex @ 8:48 pm
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Kevin Guskiewicz, who is leading research at UNC into the permanent, long-term brain damage caused by playing football, got a MacArthur “genius” grant today. Good for him.

Previously.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 8:53 pm

Football concussions: Is judgment day coming?

Filed under: Sad — Lex @ 8:53 pm
Tags: , ,

Even as the NFL was preparing to celebrate an end to this year’s lockout, 75 former NFL players sued today, claiming that the league has pulled a Big Tobacco by concealing since the 1920s evidence that football-induced concussions caused brain injury. Helmet maker Riddell also is a defendant.

Irrespective of the merits of this particular suit (whose plaintiffs include Dolphins WR Mark Duper and Giants RBs Ottis Anderson and Rodney Hampton), as I’ve said before, a day of reckoning is coming for organized football. If this suit doesn’t bring it, something else will. Permanent brain damage — chronic traumatic encephalopathy — is a feature of football, not a bug. And there’s no technological fix.

Previously.

Previously.

Previously.

 

 

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