Danger of head injuries increases as players become more powerful
The brain is like a blancmange inside a wooden box. It has the consistency of set custard and is secured within a pool of fluid in the skull by veins no more substantial than those on the back of your hand. The arrangement works well until the box is hit. Then the brain gets scrambled.
Until recently concern about cumulative brain injury caused by blows to the head was focused on boxers, in whom repeated episodes of concussion are common over a long career. Now it is becoming clear that chronic traumatic encephalopathy – a degenerative disease of the brain – is affecting participants in other contact sports in which the blancmange is rattled, even if not concussed – including American football, ice hockey and wrestling.
Could the danger extend to rugby – league or union? Rugby players wear less padding than their US counterparts but it is unclear whether that makes them more vulnerable or less – by reducing the ferocity of the impacts. Unquestionably the dangers of rugby have risen as the size and weight of players has grown, reflected in the soaring injury rate.
In Australia the former rugby league player Shaun Valentine has become the first to pledge his brain to research after his death, following a series of seizures he has experienced since retiring. Brain damage in rugby is an issue that can no longer be ignored.
Life & Style blogs
Charlie Charlie Challenge: everyone on the internet thinks it’s a marketing stunt, but it probably isn’t
Not brushing your teeth can lead to dementia and heart disease
Insomnia could be cured with one simple therapy session, new study claims
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
Spanish restaurant El Celler de Can Roca reclaims top spot to be named world's best restaurant
- 1 School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
- 2 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 5 Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitm...
£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Join a fast growing, UK based I...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Manager is required t...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This web design company are searching for outs...