Danny Frawley CTE

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Ambrosia

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30 years might not be long enough. Sporting codes across the globe have spent decades burying their knowledge of brain injuries - one of the many lawsuits against the NFL related to their knowledge of a link between football and brain injuries as far back as 1998. It's taken them til the last 7-8 years to start taking action, and it's still not action that will prevent CTE. Some of the research is really terrifying - there was a case in the US where a guy who only played a couple of years of college football developed CTE and took his own life; there have been symptoms of CTE discovered in soccer players just from heading a ball. There's a theory that you don't even need a direct blow to the head to contribute to brain injuries, just the whiplash effect can do it.

If sport ever truly took this seriously it would be non-contact, because the research from the US suggests this is epidemic - it's just been covered up. Think I'm being dramatic? Google Jovan Belcher; Aaron Hernandez, at just 27, was found to have the most advanced case seen in someone that age when he murdered one, and probably three people. Google wrestler Chris Benoit.

Boston University said in 2017 that, of 111 brains belonging to former NFL players that they'd examined, 110 had signs of CTE.

The only surprise here is that we haven't heard more about CTE in Australia.
NFL is much more conducive to repeat head knocks than the AFL though. I think the worry in the AFL is for your in an under inside mids who are crashing in repeatedly all game.
 

The Sim Dog

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30 years might not be long enough. Sporting codes across the globe have spent decades burying their knowledge of brain injuries - one of the many lawsuits against the NFL related to their knowledge of a link between football and brain injuries as far back as 1998. It's taken them til the last 7-8 years to start taking action, and it's still not action that will prevent CTE. Some of the research is really terrifying - there was a case in the US where a guy who only played a couple of years of college football developed CTE and took his own life; there have been symptoms of CTE discovered in soccer players just from heading a ball. There's a theory that you don't even need a direct blow to the head to contribute to brain injuries, just the whiplash effect can do it.

If sport ever truly took this seriously it would be non-contact, because the research from the US suggests this is epidemic - it's just been covered up. Think I'm being dramatic? Google Jovan Belcher; Aaron Hernandez, at just 27, was found to have the most advanced case seen in someone that age when he murdered one, and probably three people. Google wrestler Chris Benoit.

Boston University said in 2017 that, of 111 brains belonging to former NFL players that they'd examined, 110 had signs of CTE.

The only surprise here is that we haven't heard more about CTE in Australia.
I'd say it would have to be bad in Rugby league and union players too. Huge guys with heads down dead set charging into each other all night.
 

Toump Ass

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Fans of legitimate sports would be aware of the tragic story of Chris Benoit.

A recent documentary series "Dark Side of the Ring" revealed his CTE diagnosis, and noted his strong emotional over-sensitivity. I recall Danny exhibited this as well, they made jokes about it on TFS etc a lot.

(as an aside, maybe something for dickheads like Damien Hardwick to think about next time he makes jokes about people's mental state)
 

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Elite Master

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It's hard to say where the current crop of players will be at in 30 years. I think we're light years ahead of where we were 30 years ago in terms of diagnosis and treatment of concussion, so who knows, maybe we're already trending significantly in the right direction without knowing it.

Without drastic rule changes it'd be nigh on impossible to eliminate concussions from contact sports.
The younger crop of players from say the last 5 or 6 years have been better protected because of that more advanced research and treatment of concussion, but I worry about guys like Joel Selwood who has taken countless heavy knocks to the head for a decade or more. That accumulates.
 

The Sim Dog

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The younger crop of players from say the last 5 or 6 years have been better protected because of that more advanced research and treatment of concussion, but I worry about guys like Joel Selwood who has taken countless heavy knocks to the head for a decade or more. That accumulates.
Bartel probably copped just as many knocks and more especially bad ones too.
 

TheExtractorFactor

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If we are ever able to develop a test that detects it in living people I could see a scenario where all players are tested at the end of the season and if positive, they are no longer allowed to play - but the league pays them out their contract and supports them financially/psychologically post football.
 

CD Xbow

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as the consequences of CTE gathers speed I wonder what contact sports will look like in 30 years
Your genes make a difference, theres good evidennce one type (allele) of the APOE gene makes it more likely to suffer CTE, so in the future players may be screened. Interestingly it's the same allele that predisposes to dementia.
Frawley had also stopped taking depression medication at the time of his death. Interesting development but not sure where it fits in.
True, but there is no doubt progressive CTE will lead to worsening neuropsychiatric symptoms. So if you start off with a tendency to depression then this may be made much worse. The NFL players have been terribly afflicted and have had some dreadful effects on there behaviour later in life.
 

Ron The Bear

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True, but there is no doubt progressive CTE will lead to worsening neuropsychiatric symptoms. So if you start off with a tendency to depression then this may be made much worse. The NFL players have been terribly afflicted and have had some dreadful effects on there behaviour later in life.
Yep, but at the time of his death Frawley was holding down several TV and radio roles. Seems a little speculative to pin the lot on head knocks.

CTE is also observed in (a lower proportion of) non-athletes, isn't it?
 

scottishfiction

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as his wife admits...it’s not solely blamed on hits to the head on the field.

his mental issues obviously go way back before his league career
yeah, remember a very interesting post on here from someone who clearly knew a bit, talking about the disproportionate statistics on suicide in Ballarat. lots of men without a 10-15 year age band, lots of men who went to or nearby to a big Catholic school...
 

TheExtractorFactor

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Yep, but at the time of his death Frawley was holding down several TV and radio roles. Seems a little speculative to pin the lot on head knocks.

CTE is also observed in (a lower proportion of) non-athletes, isn't it?
He had pretty much disappeared from radio. Was rarely on SEN the whole 2019 season at all and if he was it was for little 10 minute segments here and there. The only regular TV spot he was on was Bounce which was once a week and he wasn’t very articulate at the best of times.
 

Bunk Moreland

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The AFL have taken some steps but probably need to go further. Intentional hits have all but been taken out of the game. They need a major educational program on the other side though, protecting your head. We still laud blokes who lead with their head as brave. It’s gotta be taken out with technique at an early age, it’s so much harder to change habits in adults. Needs to be part of all coaching levels.

Hard with a 360deg game but I think more can be done.
 

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CD Xbow

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Yep, but at the time of his death Frawley was holding down several TV and radio roles. Seems a little speculative to pin the lot on head knocks.

CTE is also observed in (a lower proportion of) non-athletes, isn't it?
It has been seen in victims of domestic violence, head bangers and the Military, the latter presumably due to heads banging around in helmets, concussive injury from explosions etc. With sports the more you bang your head the more it happens. By definition it's not CTE without a history of recurrent head trauma, it would be would be regarded as more of a dementia as the changes are similar. it does beg the question, how much head trauma is needed? Clearly it's different for different individuals, see earlier post about APOE gene. What's terrible about is the way it's progressive towards dementia despite the individual having no further trauma.
 

NitroFan

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yeah, remember a very interesting post on here from someone who clearly knew a bit, talking about the disproportionate statistics on suicide in Ballarat. lots of men without a 10-15 year age band, lots of men who went to or nearby to a big Catholic school...
Do you have a link to this?
 

getthefooty

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There was a survey done awhile ago, they asked athletes if they could take a drug to guarantee a gold medal, but it would kill them, would you take it.
Something like 85% said yes.

I think footballers are now aware of the risks in footy, i don't think they are worried too much.
When you say "a while ago", you mean the 1970s. It was in fact just over half, not 85%. The survey was done again in 2009 on the Australian public and in 2013 on some elite-level track and field athletes in the USA and the response was under 1% for the public and 6% for the athletes (on the assumption the drug was legal and would kill you 5 years after it was taken - it was around 1% for illegal and would kill you 5 years after it was taken).

I think the spate of early concussion related retirements has shown they are now aware of the dangers and are worried about them. If they aren't, they probably should be. Hopefully the research brings much more light to this because your AFL/elite sporting career is such a small portion of your life and your brain is the most important part of your body.
 

Established1870

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Don't want to sound dark or anything but I do honestly expect to see a Benoit/Hernandez situation happen with a past or present AFL footballer one day. Almost every player to have played our game would have CTE to some extent and depending on the circumstances it could get ugly for them over time or very quickly.

And the f’ed thing is I expect it to be what causes the AFL and wider sporting landscape in this country to sit up and actually take notice of it.
 

scottishfiction

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Don't want to sound dark or anything but I do honestly expect to see a Benoit/Hernandez situation happen with a past or present AFL footballer one day. Almost every player to have played our game would have CTE to some extent and depending on the circumstances it could get ugly for them over time or very quickly.

And the f’ed thing is I expect it to be what causes the AFL and wider sporting landscape in this country to sit up and actually take notice of it.
what about an entire football club. what about... the equal most successful football club! and the coach!
 

catscollector

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Given medicine can only diagnose CTE after one's passing, you have to wonder if research has been studied on both Rugby Union and NRL. As it's beginning to emerge that concussion is not the central cause of the disease but continual head knocks over a period of time.
Their sporting codes are virtually based around repetitive body hits and head knocks in order to gain metres throughout the course of 80+ minutes.
 

nobbyiscool

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Given medicine can only diagnose CTE after one's passing, you have to wonder if research has been studied on both Rugby Union and NRL. As it's beginning to emerge that concussion is not the central cause of the disease but continual head knocks over a period of time.
Their sporting codes are virtually based around repetitive body hits and head knocks in order to gain metres throughout the course of 80+ minutes.
It relies on former footballers and their families being prepared to donate their brains to "brain bank" researchers following their death.

It's part of the problem with CTE - it's received so little coverage and there's so little awareness, I wonder how many former footballers in Australia even know they can have their brain analysed after they die and potentially help future footballers? (Which, in a lot of cases, might help out the deceased persons family. I think of how many footballers have become pieces of sh*t after their careers and wonder how much was really them and how much was brain injury caused by repetitive head knocks. .)

I know a couple of rugby league players have committed their brains to research, just as Danny Frawley had made it known that he'd committed his brain to research a few years ago - but I don't know whether any from those codes have had their brains analysed after dying.
 

Number37

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Given medicine can only diagnose CTE after one's passing, you have to wonder if research has been studied on both Rugby Union and NRL. As it's beginning to emerge that concussion is not the central cause of the disease but continual head knocks over a period of time.
Their sporting codes are virtually based around repetitive body hits and head knocks in order to gain metres throughout the course of 80+ minutes.
Union and League both outlawed shoulder charges and head slams/sling long before the AFL.
In AFL a player can't accidentally touch an opposition player above the shoulders without getting pinged for high contact, no matter how insignificant the contact, but a player can jump knee raised and make flush contact with the back of opposition players head and people laud it as 'crashing the pack'.
 

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