Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Olympic boxing may damage the brain

Date:
April 23, 2012
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
Olympic boxers can exhibit changes in brain fluids after bouts, which indicates nerve cell damage. This is shown in a study of 30 top-level Swedish boxers.

Olympic boxers can exhibit changes in brain fluids after bouts, which indicates nerve cell damage. This is shown in a study of 30 top-level Swedish boxers that was conducted at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, in collaboration with the Swedish Boxing Federation, published in PLoS ONE.

It has been debated for quite some time whether Olympic boxing (amateur boxing) is hazardous to the brain. Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg University, joined with colleagues at the Faculty of Health Sciences at Linköping University and the Swedish Boxing Association in conducting a unique study of 30 top-level Swedish boxers and 25 reference persons.

Brain injury similar to Alzheimer´s

The study shows that repeated blows to the head in the boxing ring can produce a release of brain injury markers to the brain fluid, similar to what is seen with after other types of head trauma, as well as in neurological illnesses such as Alzheimer´s.

"Our study shows that after bouts, some of the boxers had elevated concentrations of four different proteins in the brain fluid, which all signal damage to the brain's nerve cells. Moreover, two of the proteins were still elevated after a period of rest" says researcher Sanna Neselius, who has led the study. Sanna Neselius has self been boxing at elite level and was ranked as one of the best female boxers in the world, both as olympic and professional boxer.

Very few show symptoms

As many of 80 percent of the boxers exhibited protein changes that indicate brain damage. The boxers who participated in the study competed on the top-level of Swedish boxing and all had fought at least 47 bouts. None of them had lost on a knock-out, and only one of the boxers mentioned symptoms after a bout (headache).

"The brain injury markers were elevated for 80 percent of the olympic boxers directly after a bout as a result of minor brain damage. That the brain fluid markers were elevated even after weeks of rest for some of the boxers can be interpreted as the damage had yet not healed or that some damage will remain, says Sanna Neselius.

Call for concussion guidelines

Sanna Neselius has now scheduled a meeting with the Swedish Boxing Federation's board of directors to discuss the results.

"We need to discuss the results and how we can increase the medical safety for boxers, both during training and in competition," says Sanna Neselius. "I further hope that the results will be taken seriously by other martial arts federations, where the safety regulations are not as well defined as in boxing. The results may also be useful when discussing concussion guidelines.

Blood test a future option

"Preferably, we would like to find a simple blood test that provides the same information as our more advanced brain fluid examinations. The capability does not presently exist, but can perhaps become an option in the future with further and more extensive studies."

Article CSF-Biomarkers in Olympic Boxing: Diagnosis and Effects of Repetitive Head Trauma was published in PLoS ONE, April 4.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Gothenburg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sanna Neselius, Helena Brisby, Annette Theodorsson, Kaj Blennow, Henrik Zetterberg, Jan Marcusson. CSF-Biomarkers in Olympic Boxing: Diagnosis and Effects of Repetitive Head Trauma. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (4): e33606 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0033606

Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "Olympic boxing may damage the brain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120423104741.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2012, April 23). Olympic boxing may damage the brain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120423104741.htm
University of Gothenburg. "Olympic boxing may damage the brain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120423104741.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) — Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Couples Who Sleep Less Than An Inch Apart Might Be Happiest

Couples Who Sleep Less Than An Inch Apart Might Be Happiest

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — A new study by British researchers suggests couples' sleeping positions might reflect their happiness. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins