Study: Boxing and brain injuries go hand-in-hand

Study: Boxing and brain injuries go hand-in-hand

While it may not be any sort of shocking revelation to Maryland residents, a recent study has documented the tie between a certain type of athlete and a devastating injury. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons recently pointed out that a staggering 90 percent of boxers suffer from brain injuries.

While it might appear that these athletes welcome this type of personal injury by stepping in the ring under their own volition, the lack of preventative action by sanctioning bodies, coaches and boxing gyms could all shoulder some of the blame for this epidemic of brain injuries. If a boxer is unaware of the surefire odds of brain injury, they cannot make an informed decision on whether or not to participate.

A doctor that participated in the study said that absorbing blows to the head like that is comparable to constant whiplash. These brain injuries can often lead to chronic ailments like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, which boxers are more prone to than most other people.

Another researcher said that these injuries can often lead to dementia, as well. He pointed to boxing greats like Muhammad Ali and Joe Louis to frame his argument. Ali currently suffers from Parkinson’s while Louis suffered from dementia before he died.

Researchers in Germany conducted a previous study in 2010 after realizing that boxing had gained wide acceptance around the world. They discovered that 10 people died each year since 1900 from injuries suffered in the boxing ring, even if it came in the form of slow, chronic ailments.

Boxing is still a recreational sport enjoyed by many, and the similar sport of mixed martial arts has exploded in popularity. If sanctioning bodies that govern these sports do not get the word out about the incredible risk for brain injuries, they could be deemed negligent under law.

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