Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Concussions and their long-term affects

The issue of player health and well-being has been an issue of great importance in the postings on this blog; and no issue captured my attention more than that of concussions and the impact of repeated concussions on the cognitive skills and memory of of players and former players.

No comes a report on a study conducted by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research that contributes to a growing body of literature that points to significant long-term memory issues for those players who suffer repeated concussions.

The study is far from perfect ~ it involved a phone interview of former players ~ but several researchers, including a former team doctor of the Steelers, believe that (to put this into the football vernacular) moves the ball down the field. One researcher went so far as to say that "there appears to be a problem with cognition in a group of N.F.L. football players at a relatively young age."

For their part the National Football League continues to employ the Phillip Morris defense ~ i.e. nothing has been proven, plenty of former players are fine, more research needs to be done ~ but promises it is taking the matter seriously.