Earlier today, BloodyElbow reported on a new study by the American Academy of Neurology which details the effects of MMA and boxing on the human brain. As Brent Brookhouse put it, "The findings, while not surprising, do confirm what reasonable people would presume about a sport where you get hit in the head. Mainly, that it’s not all that great for your brain."
In 2009, the results of a study on Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in athletes were published in the Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology. The results of this article are eye-opening. They studied 51 confirmed cases of CTE. Of those, 46 (90%) occurred in athletes. The athletes included 39 boxers. Of all athletes, one third were symptomatic at the time of their retirement from the sport and half were symptomatic within 4 years of stopping play. So, what are the symptoms of CTE? Deteriorations in attention, concentration, and memory. Disorientation and confusion. Progressive slowing of muscular movements, staggering gait, speech problems, psychotic symptoms. Social instability, erratic behavior... I will stop there. It is not pretty.
There is a reason that the vast majority of the athlete CTE cases were boxers- they get hit in the head. Over and over again. Just like our beloved MMA athletes.
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