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UnderGround Forums >> Could this breakthrough medical study change MMA?


1/22/13 9:32 PM
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Thingading
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http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/23/sports/football/study-suggests-pet-scans-may-identify-cte-in-living-patients.html?_r=0

Up until now, medical researchers have had to wait until athletes (mainly NFL players) were dead before they could study their brains to help determine why such a high percentage, compared to the general population, were suffering from depression, heavy mood swings, early onset Alzheimer’s, killing themselves, etc. Researchers have been saying this increased incidence in this population is due to repeated head trauma.

Now, there is this report of a PET scan that can determine the first signs of the proteins in a LIVING person’s brain that signify chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or C.T.E. This is a degenerative brain disease found in a percentage of individuals who compete in high contact sports with hits to the head (much higher than that in the normal population). It sounds like there will be follow up to this study, as it needs some refinement and a larger population mix, but it appears to be the beginning of something bigger.

While the focus now is on the NFL, there is no doubt this research is going to find its way to other high incidence head trauma sports like MMA and boxing. There is also the thought that individuals in the physical prime of their life, as early as 20-25, may end up having this scan (or a more advanced scan by then) to see if they are one of the unfortunate who is likely on their way to early brain degeneration and damage.

This article is from the New York Times, not some lame source. The issue of brain degeneration among athletes competing in sports with high exposure to repeated head trauma keeps coming up and is getting worse and worse for the NFL. The subject is bound for MMA.

Do you think when the time comes that fighters can (or may be required to) have this sort of study conducted, most will quit the sport of MMA if the results show C.T.E., early Alzheimer's, etc.? Perhaps they will not have the choice and be told an occupation involving continuous hits to their melon is no longer a career path option.
1/23/13 9:59 AM
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Thingading
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Damn - nothing?

I knew I should have started a “Could Rickson beat Bones Jones if the fight was in a ring?” thread.

Those types of thought provoking questions seem to receive many more responses on the UG these days.
1/23/13 10:11 AM
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Kimbos Bread
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This thread needs titty pics Phone Post
1/23/13 10:11 AM
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Heroic Rise
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This could change alot of sports. Phone Post
1/23/13 10:17 AM
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Old noob
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I think it would do little to deter fighters from continuing down their chosen path. How many examples do we see on TUF of "I ain't got nothin', no job, no home, no money, 3 kids to feed..."? It doesn't make a lot of sense to then pursue MMA professionally at that stage. Some call it driven, others call it stubborn or ignorant. Point being, when it's time to stop fighting on account of CTE, I could see the same people saying "What am I supposed to do now, be an accountant? I got dementia!"
1/23/13 10:21 AM
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MITman2k
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While I haven't been able to read the published article as of yet, the times article is interesting. The key finding seems to be the identification of tau and AB proteins by PET scan(similar proteins have been found in Alzeimer's patients although I believe in different areas of the brain. Obviously the next step will be more studies with larger study groups(more power) but this is a promising development I think.

 Whether something like this is added to the screening of MMA atheletes(or for certain atheletes based on KO history) will probably be up to the atheletic comission to sort through. I'm sure there wil be financial, and political issues. It could be many years before a test like this were to used commonly , if the research is sound.

  Overall, if this research ends up helping atheletes to make more informed decisions about their careers and health, then (from their persperspective at least) I think this could be a positive step.


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