Study links concussions to depression Print
Written by Admin   
Thursday, 31 May 2007 10:36
NFL Headline News

 NEW ORLEANS (AP) -A study of more than 2,500 retired NFL players found that those who had at least three concussions during their careers had triple the risk of clinical depression as those who had no concussions.
Those who recalled one or two concussions were 1 1/2 times more likely to be diagnosed with depression, said Kevin Guskiewicz, research director of the University of North Carolina's Center for the Study of Retired Athletes.
Exercise,'' the journal of the American College of Sports Medicine.
Education program at Children's National Medical Center in Washington.
``Kids, generally speaking, do worse than adults with generalized injuries'' like concussions, he said.
He also noted that many of the retired players were on the field before the NFL began a concussion management program in the mid-1990s and before studies sponsored by the NFL and NCAA prompted new helmet designs.
``It will be interesting to see in 40 years what happens to these current players who have better management,'' Gioia said.
Dr. Amparo Gutierrez, a child psychiatrist before becoming associate professor of clinical neurology at LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, said the study's biggest problem is that it relies on athletes' memory, unverified by doctors' records. But she said its chance of accuracy is improved by its response rate: 2,552 of the 3,683 retired players who were sent surveys completed and returned them.
The study did not say when this was done; Gutierrez said he has been collecting data since about 2001.
Guskiewicz said 595 players remembered at least three concussions - an incident in which a blow to the head caused a change in mental status and at least one additional symptom such as headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, blurred vision, or concentration or memory problems.
He said 884 remembered one or two concussions, and 1,513 at least one. About half said at least one knocked them out or left them unable to remember what had happened.
The 269 who reported that a doctor had later diagnosed them with depression included about 20 percent of those who reported at least three concussions, nearly 10 percent of those who had one or two concussions, and almost 7 percent of those without concussions.
An earlier study at UNC found retired athletes' chronic pain also may contribute to depression. Guskiewicz said his study analyzed its potential effect and those of numerous other potential causes and factors, including arthritis, stroke, cancer, age and mild cognitive impairment - a middle area between the changes of normal aging and more serious mental problems.
``We controlled for all these factors, and, after doing that, we still found this link between concussion history and a diagnosis of depression at some point in life,'' Guskiewicz said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that more than 300,000 athletes lose consciousness from concussions every year in the United States, and the total number of such concussions could be as high as 3.8 million.
Guskiewicz's study involved only those concussions suffered in the NFL. But players also reported concussions during high school and college.
``We have many retired players in our database who had three to four concussions in just their short five-, six-year career, who also two to three in college, who had one to two in high school,'' he said. ``Add these together and it's a cumulative affect over a playing career.''
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said: ``We think it's interesting. But it does not prove anything. And we want to know more. And that's why we are spending close to $2 million on a study of concussions on our retired players.''
Guskiewicz coaches youth football and has sons aged 7, 9 and 10 who all play. He said worries that young players will accept the notion that concussions don't matter.
``Kids look up to the NFL players,'' he said. ``They see players who sustain concussions. And it's just concerning.''
The league is considering a whistle-blower program to keep team officials from pushing players to play too soon after concussions, and commissioner Roger Goodell has ordered all 32 teams to send their doctors and trainers to a meeting about concussions next month. Gutierrez will be speaking to that meeting, Aiello said.
Concussions among NFL players have made news in recent months. A forensic pathologist who studied Andre Waters' brain after he killed himself in November said it had been damaged by concussions.
In addition, The Boston Globe and The New York Times reported in February that Ted Johnson, a New England Patriots linebacker for 10 years, shows early signs of Alzheimer's disease.
The 34-year-old Johnson said his mental problems began in 2002, when he had two concussions in four days: the first during an exhibition game and the second after coach Bill Belichick pushed him to join full-contact practice.
---
Associated Press Writer Martha Waggoner contributed to this story.
 

NFL Team Pages

Top NFL Public Bets

#1 480 Kansas City Chiefs 86%
#2 485 San Francisco 49ers 84%
#3 491 San Diego Chargers 79%
#4 463 New Orleans Saints 73%
#5 488 Denver Broncos 72%
#6 475 Buffalo Bills 72%
#7 469 Jacksonville Jaguars 66%
#8 490 Detroit Lions 65%
#9 481 New England Patriots 64%
#10 468 Pittsburgh Steelers 64%
View All: NFL |  NBA |  NCAAF |  NCAAB |  MLB |  NHL

NFL Futures

NFL TEAM CONFERENCE ODDS CURRENT
DENVER BRONCOS 9/4
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 3/1
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 15/4
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 4/1
GREEN BAY PACKERS 15/2
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 8/1
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 8/1
CHICAGO BEARS 10/1
PITTSBURGH STEELERS 12/1
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 14/1
View All

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Contact Us | Advertising | 888-99-SPREAD

THIS IS NOT A GAMBLING SITE – If you think you have a gambling problem click here.

Disclaimer: This site is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Individual users are responsible for the laws regarding accessing gambling information from their jurisdictions. Many countries around the world prohibit gambling, please check the laws in your location. Any use of this information that may violate any federal, state, local or international law is strictly prohibited.

Copyright: The information contained on TheSpread.com website is protected by international copyright and may not be reproduced, or redistributed in any way without expressed written consent.

About: TheSpread.com is the largest sports betting news site in the United States. We provide point spread news, odds, statistics and information to over 199 countries around the world each year. Our coverage includes all North American College and Professional Sports as well as entertainment, political and proposition wagering news.

©1999-2013 TheSpread.com