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3/26/13 4:28 PM
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A long term study in brain trauma and professional fighters is underway in Las Vegas, Nevada. A preliminary paper has been published, with some sobering results.

The study concluded that the volumes of important regions of the brain and the functional connections between them were decreased in amateur and professional fighters with the most experience.

These data and conclusions should be considered to be preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

There was unfortunately no distinction made between MMA fighters and professional boxers. Given the differences in rules and goals between the sports, and the vast differences in typical amateur career, grouping them does not seem rational.

Among 104 boxers and 135 mixed martial arts competitors, the number of years of pro fighting correlated significantly with reduced volume in the caudate and amygdala, and strong trends were seen toward smaller volumes in the thalamus and putamen, reported Sarah Banks, PhD, of the Cleveland Clinic's Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas.

Resting state functional MRI scans also indicated a correlation between lower connectivity between regions and the amount of fighting experience, she told attendees at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting.

Longitudinal data are not yet available, but Banks provided a largely qualititative overview of the cross-sectional data collected in the project so far.

The average career length at enrollment was 4 years and the mean number of self-reported fights was 11. Banks noted that the frequency of fights varied considerably, such that career length and number of fights did not correlate exactly.

Up to about year 5 of fight experience, volumes of all regions did not vary.

With experience beyond year 5, however, volumes declined -- most sharply for the caudate region of the brain. In that region, volumes were 10% lower in participants with 15 years of experience compared with those fighting for 5 years or less.

Volumes were lower by about 5% for the amygdala and putamen.

There was a lesser trend toward smaller volumes with experience in the thalamus and no hint of a relationship in the hippocampus.

Caudate volumes and years of fighting experience were more strongly related in participants who said they began fighting in earnest at age 15 or younger, Banks said. In that subgroup, caudate volumes were smaller by 0.37% for each bout reported by participants. In contrast, the reduction was only 0.10% per bout for participants who said they began fighting after age 15.

Read entire article...

Primary Source reference:
Bernick C, et al "Structural and Functional Brain Changes in Boxers and Mixed Martial Arts Fighters Are Correlated with Fight Exposure" AAN 2013; Abstract S54.006.


3/26/13 4:46 PM
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smoogy
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Head trauma is head trauma. If the correlations were consistent for both boxers and MMA fighters, it's perfectly rational to group them together.
3/26/13 4:52 PM
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Sam9104
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Hm, unfortunate that they couldn't do the distinguish between MMA and Boxing, IMO it could perhaps result in some confounders, but perhaps it would of made the analysis more difficult. It should, however, still be possible to analyze the MMA data; a sample of 135 fighters perhaps isn't all that bad.
3/26/13 5:00 PM
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Santino DeFranco
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Is that why I forget things?
3/26/13 5:04 PM
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Kirik
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The UnderGround, Mayor
smoogy - Head trauma is head trauma. If the correlations were consistent for both boxers and MMA fighters, it's perfectly rational to group them together.

Has anyone show a correlation to date?

Given the the average ammy in MMA turns pro after 10 fights, and the average boxer after 50-100, and that a KO is the main goal of prizefighting while MMA has control and subs too, and that guys in MMA don't take nearly the head pounding in training that boxers do and training is where I think most of the damage happens, then I would be stunned if there was no difference.

3/26/13 5:11 PM
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smoogy
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I don't agree with your opinion that MMA and Boxing head trauma is distinct and homogeneous within both sports. Both are taking a ton of hits to the head regardless of which form you prefer. One could easily try to make the counter argument that boxing is the safer of the two because boxers tend to be less concerned with chucking wild punches and more concerned with defense. But that would just be another generalization. If this study says the results are similar across both sports, what is there to dispute?
3/26/13 5:20 PM
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Rox19
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Don't show my dad thisssssssssss >_<
3/26/13 5:30 PM
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David Mortensen
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Glad to finally see results coming out about this study.

We've been far too ingorant for far too long about the real dangers of head trauma.  While there may be certain sports that have different volumes/types of head trauma than others, the bottom line is that we need to understand how the body reacts to blows to the head.

I stopped training in part because I didn't want to run the risk of ending up punchy and leaving my wife to provide for the both of us.  Kingsbu gave an interview recently talking about guys slurring and drooling in the gym, I saw some of that first hand and it scared me to be honest.  Guys who had been in the sport for 10-15 years who could hardly form a complete sentence.  Didn't think much of it at the time, then started getting serious about my family and I didn't want to end up like that.

Love this sport and respect all the warriors who go out there and lay it on the line, but I don't think most understand the potential consequences.  If they do and they're ok with it, more power to them, but I didn't want it that bad.

3/26/13 5:33 PM
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jiujitsufigher7
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This is why I don't believe Jon Jones or Vitor Belfort are christians. You can't be a christian and beat somebody up causing them brain damage, or risk yourself taking a beating and brain damage to yourself. The body is the temple of the holy spirit. You don't destroy your body or your opponent's body. The fact that Vitor Belfort and Jon Jones don't even admit fighting another human being for money is the equivalent of prostituting your body goes to prove neither of these fighters is a christian. Don't get me wrong we all sin, and fall short of the glory of God. There will be prostitutes in heaven for sure, but the ones that are going to be in heaven are those that have repented of their sin and trusted Jesus Christ, and this starts by recognizing prostitution (or fighting for money) is a sinful act. I've never heard Johnny Bones Jones or Vitor Belfort say anything about fihgting being highly sinful and an abomination to in God's eyes. So both fighters haven't repented of their sin. I'm not picking on Jones and Belfort, I'm sure there are many other fighters that claim to be christian that are not, however these two are the most well known hypocrites that claim to be christian.
3/26/13 5:33 PM
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Anderson's BBC in my Goku
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no reason to crack down on PEDs!! let em burn!

 

-UG

3/26/13 5:35 PM
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Sajite
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jiujitsufigher7 - This is why I don't believe Jon Jones or Vitor Belfort are christians. You can't be a christian and beat somebody up causing them brain damage, or risk yourself taking a beating and brain damage to yourself. The body is the temple of the holy spirit. You don't destroy your body or your opponent's body. The fact that Vitor Belfort and Jon Jones don't even admit fighting another human being for money is the equivalent of prostituting your body goes to prove neither of these fighters is a christian. Don't get me wrong we all sin, and fall short of the glory of God. There will be prostitutes in heaven for sure, but the ones that are going to be in heaven are those that have repented of their sin and trusted Jesus Christ, and this starts by recognizing prostitution (or fighting for money) is a sinful act. I've never heard Johnny Bones Jones or Vitor Belfort say anything about fihgting being highly sinful and an abomination to in God's eyes. So both fighters haven't repented of their sin. I'm not picking on Jones and Belfort, I'm sure there are many other fighters that claim to be christian that are not, however these two are the most well known hypocrites that claim to be christian.

Is this serious??

I mean....

really??
3/26/13 5:36 PM
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Nonlinear
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Damn, who would have ever thought that taking repeated blows to the head could affect your brain?

3/26/13 5:38 PM
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Condit's Face Broke My Hand
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jiujitsufigher7 - This is why I don't believe Jon Jones or Vitor Belfort are christians. You can't be a christian and beat somebody up causing them brain damage, or risk yourself taking a beating and brain damage to yourself. The body is the temple of the holy spirit. You don't destroy your body or your opponent's body. The fact that Vitor Belfort and Jon Jones don't even admit fighting another human being for money is the equivalent of prostituting your body goes to prove neither of these fighters is a christian. Don't get me wrong we all sin, and fall short of the glory of God. There will be prostitutes in heaven for sure, but the ones that are going to be in heaven are those that have repented of their sin and trusted Jesus Christ, and this starts by recognizing prostitution (or fighting for money) is a sinful act. I've never heard Johnny Bones Jones or Vitor Belfort say anything about fihgting being highly sinful and an abomination to in God's eyes. So both fighters haven't repented of their sin. I'm not picking on Jones and Belfort, I'm sure there are many other fighters that claim to be christian that are not, however these two are the most well known hypocrites that claim to be christian.
What if I told you boxing is in the Bible, used as an illustration? Phone Post
3/26/13 5:38 PM
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Sajite
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Fighting is bad

Pro-fighting is worse
3/26/13 5:38 PM
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GSPsShadyHandWraps
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Most important part was that there was a statistically significant difference between fighters who started before age 15 versus starting later

3/26/13 5:47 PM
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Epa
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If people are really interested Someone should e-mail the authors and ask if they compared outcomes between boxers and mma fighters. If you read the article they presented background data on the two groups. Specifically, "Mean educational level was about 13 years, with MMA fighters having about one more year of education on average than the boxers."

This means that they have the data on type of fighter. If it's already in their data set, it would take them no time to generate results for each group. Even if it's not in the final dataset, it wouldn't be that hard to add it in assuming they saved it. There is an incentive for the researchers here because if they have interesting findings they may be able to squeeze a separate paper out of the same study.

Ideally, someone who's knowledgeable about MMA in the Vegas area could contact them and offer to sit down with them and educate them about the sport. This way their research is more likely to be grounded in the realities of training in the sport and not something they saw on the nightly news.

Based on one statement in the paper, I'm assuming that the authors don't know a lot about MMA. Specifically, "Among 104 boxers and 135 mixed-martial arts (MMA) competitors -- many of them "cage fighters" --."
3/26/13 5:53 PM
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MaliceX
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Madrugadao - 
Kirik - 
smoogy - Head trauma is head trauma. If the correlations were consistent for both boxers and MMA fighters, it's perfectly rational to group them together.

Has anyone show a correlation to date?

Given the the average ammy in MMA turns pro after 10 fights, and the average boxer after 50-100, and that a KO is the main goal of prizefighting while MMA has control and subs too, and that guys in MMA don't take nearly the head pounding in training that boxers do and training is where I think most of the damage happens, then I would be stunned if there was no difference.


On the other hand, boxers don't take kicks to the head.

or elbows which can result in comparable power to a fist but sharper and harder.
3/26/13 5:56 PM
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john joe
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jiujitsufigher7 - This is why I don't believe Jon Jones or Vitor Belfort are christians. You can't be a christian and beat somebody up causing them brain damage, or risk yourself taking a beating and brain damage to yourself. The body is the temple of the holy spirit. You don't destroy your body or your opponent's body. The fact that Vitor Belfort and Jon Jones don't even admit fighting another human being for money is the equivalent of prostituting your body goes to prove neither of these fighters is a christian. Don't get me wrong we all sin, and fall short of the glory of God. There will be prostitutes in heaven for sure, but the ones that are going to be in heaven are those that have repented of their sin and trusted Jesus Christ, and this starts by recognizing prostitution (or fighting for money) is a sinful act. I've never heard Johnny Bones Jones or Vitor Belfort say anything about fihgting being highly sinful and an abomination to in God's eyes. So both fighters haven't repented of their sin. I'm not picking on Jones and Belfort, I'm sure there are many other fighters that claim to be christian that are not, however these two are the most well known hypocrites that claim to be christian.

i dont believe in god or a single word of the bible etc, i think it is all absolutely ridiculous

but anyone who professes to, yeah, they dont seem like they should be elbowing their fellow man in the face.
"I'm giving glory to christ by my skills" - yeah the prince of peace loves MMA
3/26/13 5:57 PM
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rookie29
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Water is wet? Phone Post
3/26/13 5:57 PM
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irishrottie
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Both Boxing and MMA are dangerous, its as simple as that.

This study only takes into account number of fights. I would like to see this data correlated with no. of sparring days per week and intensity of sparring.

3/26/13 5:58 PM
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john joe
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and, i dont fight but i have trained for years and years and done a lot of hard sparring, flash KO's etc, and i feel like i definitely would have been a lot more smarterer had i not have done that.

I remember one gym war a couple years back, midday saturday, and spent the rest of the day and the sunday lying pretty much in the dark with the worst headache ever, and my mrs nearly crying like, "thats your brain you're messing with"

but whatever. If my brain fails i will trade on my model looks and elephant penis
3/26/13 6:02 PM
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WOOFticket
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Sajite -
jiujitsufigher7 - This is why I don't believe Jon Jones or Vitor Belfort are christians. You can't be a christian and beat somebody up causing them brain damage, or risk yourself taking a beating and brain damage to yourself. The body is the temple of the holy spirit. You don't destroy your body or your opponent's body. The fact that Vitor Belfort and Jon Jones don't even admit fighting another human being for money is the equivalent of prostituting your body goes to prove neither of these fighters is a christian. Don't get me wrong we all sin, and fall short of the glory of God. There will be prostitutes in heaven for sure, but the ones that are going to be in heaven are those that have repented of their sin and trusted Jesus Christ, and this starts by recognizing prostitution (or fighting for money) is a sinful act. I've never heard Johnny Bones Jones or Vitor Belfort say anything about fihgting being highly sinful and an abomination to in God's eyes. So both fighters haven't repented of their sin. I'm not picking on Jones and Belfort, I'm sure there are many other fighters that claim to be christian that are not, however these two are the most well known hypocrites that claim to be christian.

Is this serious??

I mean....

really??
Phone Post
3/26/13 6:02 PM
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xaeo
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*comforts self claiming research not sport specific.... in denial.... not gonna stop anyway, keeps training* Phone Post
3/26/13 6:02 PM
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Freeman
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Ban fighting?

3/26/13 6:05 PM
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TheGoldenRule
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Must've used a diaz in the study Phone Post

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