Sunday, October 23, 2011

A bit of a surprise: Hope on concussions

As Gallos alluded, I watched the Notre Dame-USC game last night.  While the game wasn't quite as traumatic as the end of the Columbus Blue Jackets-Ottawa Senators game turned out to be, the broadcast featured a surprising and rather cool public service (read: school marketing) piece by the University of Notre Dame.

Keep in mind that this was during a football game, and Notre Dame's marquee sport (for now) is football...but don't overlook the fact that the NHL's Sidney Crosby also gets a video mention:

Proud alumnus chest-pounding aside (but rest assured, it's happening), I think that this scientific development in the treatment of traumatic brain injuries is fantastic stuff.  Same for the Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, which I've referred to repeatedly throughout the life of this blog.

I'm a fan of contact sports like hockey and football, and concussions are a fact of life in these sports as currently defined.  Many of our fighting men and women returning from overseas suffer from traumatic brain injuries.  Even yours truly's noggin has been knocked around a couple of times, and I only got as far as 5th grade flag football, never played hockey and was passed over when I applied for ROTC in college.  So this type of applied research, while clearly applying to sports, goes far beyond the rehabilitation of athletes.

Still, this is a blog about sports - and hockey in particular.  And I note that this research is being funded by a grant from NFL Charities.  If the National Hockey League and the NHL Players Association were really serious about head injuries, they'd be funding efforts like Notre Dame's, and Boston University's.

It's so nice to know that the bio-science community is not just working on diagnosis but also treatments for these horrible injuries.  Stuff like this gives me hope.

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