Just found this:
If international expert Robert Cantu had his druthers, football teams would practice without helmets.
That would be the best way to teach players to avoid head-to-head collisions, utilize their shoulders and bodies more in contact, protect against the concussions and later-life brain maladies the brutal game creates at rates such scientists find alarming.
The same notion would apply for players from preps to pros, too.
“There may be one day a week you put them on,” Dr. Cantu said Friday in the first of a two-day, Duquesne University seminar entitled “Is Football Bad for the Brain?”
Dr. Cantu is a noted neurosurgeon and co-founder of the Boston-area Sports Legacy Institute that has helped to lead the NFL’s recent reform movement through its study of long-term brain damage in middle-aged or older athletes.
“Keep them off, so you don’t use your head as a battering ram,” said Dr. Cantu.
. . .
Also on the first day of the seminar, presented by the Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law:
• Dr. Cantu revealed his research found that a fatal form of follow-up concussion, called Second Impact Syndrome that kills three to four high-school players annually, can be detected by a CAT scan. Sports-related brain injuries never before revealed themselves in imaging.
• His co-worker at the Sports Legacy Institute, Dr. Ann McKee, announced the finding of another protein — TDP43 — that causes degeneration in the brains of such older athletes diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, the disease that results from a history of head trauma. The protein called tau also does that.
• Dr. Maroon’s research echoed Dr. Bailes’: Gobble up Omega 3 fatty acids, and they may help to prevent and cure the inflammation of a traumatic brain injury.
“Quite frankly, I think everybody should be on it,” said Dr. Maroon, who was part of a January 2009 study in which an NFL team showed reduced cardiovascular risk factors when regularly ingesting them
He proposed downing 2 to 3 grams of such fatty acids as DHA or EPA daily. “I think it’s like Vitamin B — it’s a natural anti-inflammatory.”
Interesting, that they’re talking about Omega-3 fatty acids. I’ve been taking them for (I think) about a year, and that may be one of the things that’s really helped me. I haven’t taken 2-3 grams (more like 1,200 mg, or 1.2 grams). But I have been taking some.
Between that and my daily exercise, I’ve seen a big difference between how my brain functions now and how it functioned just a year ago. It’s also helped that I’ve been getting regular help from my neuropsych, and that I’ve had some really great breakthroughs in how I perceive my life and my place in it.
I only wish I had known about this, when I’d had my last head injury. For that matter, I wish I’d realized that I’d had a head injury, which affected me as much as it did.
Oh, well. I guess progress is better late than never. And I’m glad to see the football community getting on board with addressing concussion.