Concusions

In: Science

Submitted By tgzoellner1s
Words 559
Pages 3
King, Peter. "Concussions The Hits That Are Changing Football." Sports Illustrated. 01 11 2010: Web. 13 Sep. 2012.

Dr. Ann McKee an associate professor of neurology and pathology at Boston University who has been studying the brains of deceased football players, wanted to illustrate the damage that repeated hits to the helmet can cause. When she slipped a slide of a cross section of a human male brain into the microscope it showed hundreds of tiny brownish triangular bits of a toxic protein called tau which chokes off cellular life in the brain. The slide of the cross section was 10-year NFL offensive lineman Lou Creekmur. “You can see that there are hardly any areas untouched by the damage, I would call it incredible chaos in the brain, Lou was demented when he died” said McKee. Over the past three years McKee has been given the brains of sixteen former NFL players, some of whom suffered dementia and ALS of severe depression. The families of the players wondered whether there was a link between football and the psychological, physical or behavioral problems that afflict some older players. Testing has been completed on fourteen of the brains; thirteen were diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in athletes (and others) with a history of repetitive brain trauma, including concussions as well as hits to the head. A film was showed to all 32 teams about the hits and what was legal and illegal. The players’ responses were booing, throwing things at the screen, and they were mad. The players say that because things happen so quickly on the field, it is extremely difficult for them to avoid inflicting crushing helmet-to-helmet hits. The players also collectively shrugged: That is football. “It is what makes the game popular, people love the battle and…...

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