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4/19/12 12:44 AM
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Underground Blog
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MixedMartialArts.com
 

A yearlong study of boxers' and mixed martial-arts fighters' brain activity has found those who fight for more than six years begin to experience damage and those who fight longer than 12 years expose themselves to an even greater decline each time they return to the ring.

"What we've found suggests changes and damage in the brain happens years before symptoms emerge," said Dr. Charles Bernick, author of the study. "It's what we see in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's patients."

Bernick has supervised MRIs and computerized and cognitive tests of an estimated 170 fighters at the Cleveland Clinic's Las Vegas center in the past year.

"If we're going to protect these athletes, we need to follow them earlier in their course," Bernick said.

Bernick said the study found fighters begin losing brain volume — as brain cells die — after six years of fighting.

"We still need to follow these guys over time," Bernick said. "If someone's having damage, a commission might want to limit the number of fights he has. There is a hierarchy of protective things, interventions to help. This is still being sorted out.

"We are looking at this 'threshold effect.' How much punishment can a brain take? What are the markers we can see for long-term problems?"

The study received a $12-million boost in funding earlier this year from a Las Vegas dinner and auction. One of the highlights of the night was Ultimate Fighting Championship Chairman Lorenzo Fertitta outbidding Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, spending $1.1 million for a pair of autographed gloves belonging to Muhammad Ali.

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4/19/12 12:54 AM
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Leghound
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TTT. The research that will be coming out over the next 5+ years on contact sports is going to be interesting....
4/19/12 1:12 AM
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Porkchop
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yeah does anyone really think that these guys getting knocked out all the time wont have real brain damage?

it sucks to think about but the only guys who wont are the ones who avoid taking shots at all costs.
4/19/12 1:17 AM
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Shinsplint
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 Yeah. It's an unfortunate reality in the striking arts.
4/19/12 1:18 AM
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inf0
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 I've always thought a good fighter has about a 5-6 year window... after that, sorry... unless you juice and cheat like a mofo, nobody makes a huge improvement late in a fighting career.


4/19/12 1:20 AM
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inf0
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This speaks volumes for waiting until adulthood before training in a contact sport or combat sport for that matter.


4/19/12 1:36 AM
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Porkchop
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inf0 - This speaks volumes for waiting until adulthood before training in a contact sport or combat sport for that matter.



agreed. i feel bad for kids who participate in sports at an early age where their heads are smacked around. they just dont understand the long term effects.
4/19/12 3:52 AM
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Farewell Brock
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Limiting the fights a fighter has is a great idea hopefully they can do it over the span of a year. Say 2 fights a year type thing.
This will get rid of the watered down cards, and hopefully increase fighter pay.


Personally as a fan who has suffered severe brain damage (7 years ago) I'm thrilled to see reports on this. It is definitely important and vital research to help this sport grow. Phone Post
4/19/12 6:43 AM
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Motivated Penn
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There are a lot of guys in MMA that nobody talks about as having brain damage that blatantly are not entirely "there". I won't name any names but they are numerous. Their speech is off, their eyes seem blank and unfocused, thoughts come slowly. You can compare interviews from 10-15 years ago to the interviews of today. It's a reality of the game. Fighting takes a definite toll. It's not a binary condition. Healthy - Damaged. It is a sliding scale, and it only moves in one direction.
4/19/12 8:19 AM
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ocdacc
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In Phone Post
4/19/12 8:39 AM
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MMAxNate
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why are they lumping boxers with MMArtists?
That would skew the results.

Not saying they shouldn't be involved in a test of this nature, but that it should be separate so as to not dilute the results.

Accurate results should be the desired goal regardless of what they are. This seems like the wrong approach.
4/19/12 8:40 AM
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ChipW
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This is why Im for responsible use of PEDS. 
growth hormone
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2265.2005.02250.x/abstract;jsessionid=38803E4327985E623C86F0553024AB6D.d02t02?userIsAuthenticated=false&deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=

thymosin beta 4:
http://www.regenerx.com/wt/page/pr_1329315649
4/19/12 8:42 AM
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sevenwithcheese
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MMAxNate - why are they lumping boxers with MMArtists?
That would skew the results.

Not saying they shouldn't be involved in a test of this nature, but that it should be separate so as to not dilute the results.

Accurate results should be the desired goal regardless of what they are. This seems like the wrong approach.
Sure does, since boxers can be knocked out several times in a single fight.
 
4/19/12 8:53 AM
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dudefromisrael
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 Study: Getting hit in your head isn't good for your head.





I also understand getting kicked in the ribs can fracture your ribs, but I'm waiting for the final conclusions on that one.
4/19/12 9:24 AM
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goku
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This is why the ufc needs to take roids seriously. They can't just shirk this responsibility when they are making money off the backs of these fighters. Phone Post
4/19/12 10:38 AM
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French Fries Malone
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flipmode - agreed though, why cant they just do an mma study? why the boxing? jesus.. we know boxing can fuck your head up.
Do you doubt mma is just as bad, how Many mma fighters train boxing? Phone Post
4/19/12 10:42 AM
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ChipW
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goku - This is why the ufc needs to take roids seriously. They can't just shirk this responsibility when they are making money off the backs of these fighters. Phone Post
Are you saying they need to legalize PEDs or are you saying they need to tighten up on testing? Phone Post
4/19/12 11:20 AM
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goku
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ChipW - 
goku - This is why the ufc needs to take roids seriously. They can't just shirk this responsibility when they are making money off the backs of these fighters. Phone Post
Are you saying they need to legalize PEDs or are you saying they need to tighten up on testing? Phone Post

 tighten up...will it eliminate head injuries? no...but they should take reasonable measures to try to decrease the amount of fighters that are going to end up with severe brain injuries...testing adequately so that fighters do not have an illegal unfair advantage is one such reasonable measure they should take
4/19/12 11:30 AM
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sacredhate
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in states where people are allowed to ride a motorcycles without helmets are the number of miles they are allowed to ride, or the type of road they are allowed on restricted?
4/19/12 12:54 PM
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goku
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 ummmm.wat?
4/19/12 3:38 PM
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Porkchop
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sacredhate - in states where people are allowed to ride a motorcycles without helmets are the number of miles they are allowed to ride, or the type of road they are allowed on restricted?

so you are implying that being able to ride your motorcycle without a helmet on is a perfect law without flaw....

what about the families of the person who gets brain damage from an accident without a helmet and has to wipe his ass for the rest of his life because his brain is too fucked up to do basic daily tasks?

or the kids who are robbed of their mother or father and are left with a vegetative shell of what they were.

I'm not saying that I know any answer and i'm not saying that there is anything that can be done to stop professional fighters from accumulating damage.... but that helmet is definitely not a perfect law.
4/19/12 6:26 PM
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Bearded Collie Herds Orca
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dudefromisrael - <b> Study:</b> Getting hit in your head isn't good for your head.





I also understand getting kicked in the ribs can fracture your ribs, but I'm waiting for the final conclusions on that one.<br type="_moz" />


Naive, anti-science rhetoric. Perhaps you should publish your sophisticated critique in the same journal they published the original study? I hope I am being trolled, because I really hope that people smart enough to type sentences don't think this way.
4/19/12 6:43 PM
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Kingtony87
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I'd like see them do a similar study on the effects of football/hockey have on the brain, should the limit the amount of games played? where does regulation impinge on freedom Phone Post
4/19/12 7:47 PM
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sly fox
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 texas requires fighters over 35 have their brains scanned every 6 months, it costs over 1k a time, so even as an ammy you have to do that... using a 35 year old age margin has always seemed a bit ridiculous...maybe they should change it to 6 years of fighting

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