CLEVELAND, Ohio (WKBN) – Ever since Dolphin’s Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered not one but two reported blows to the head less than a week apart, the conversation of concussion safety has been hot.
Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic have found some hope when it comes to the long-term effects of brain injuries.
Their study focused on boxers and MMA fighters. They found that these athletes may see some recovery in their thinking and memory skills over time.
Doctors also reported findings of the brain structure actually healing itself.
“What we found was that the folks who continued to fight, we saw slight declines in certain parts of the brain that may be susceptible to repetitive head trauma, while those who stopped fighting, we saw a stabilization of brain volume loss,” said Dr. Aaron Ritter.
Two groups participated in the study over a span of three years.
The first group consisted of 45 retired male fighters who had not competed in two years. The other group consisted of 45 active male fighters.
Research showed that the retired fighters had improvements over time. The active fighters were stable or showed some declines.
Doctors say this research is essential and ongoing.
“Our goal is to keep professional athletes safe and inform them about their risk for cognitive decline later in life, and so understanding that transition period is really important to inform athletes to make safe decisions about their career,” Dr. Ritter said.
Next, they are looking into if there is a point in one’s fighting career where recovery is less likely to happen. These findings are not just important for those in the ring but for other contact sports as well.
There are signs to look out for when a severe head injury has occurred.
The person does not have to lose consciousness. Complaints of headaches and nausea are common.
Look out for confusion or balance problems after the athlete is hit.
These are just some of the common things to look out for but always talk to a doctor or their athletic trainer if there are any concerns.