Sunday, February 25, 2018
Sports

Small FSU study finds big evidence of head trauma in NFL retirees

A study of the brains of 40 retired NFL players has found evidence that damage and impairment is widespread in those who have played the game professionally.

The study is small, but nonetheless one of the largest to examine the brains of former players while they're alive. The new research, to be presented today at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, looked at the retired players, most for less than five years, with an average age of 36.

Even among such young retirees, researchers from Florida State University's School of Medicine found that 43 percent, or 17 of the former players, had structural abnormalities in the connective tissue of their brains — the white matter that speeds signals among cells — that is considered reliable evidence of traumatic brain injury. Brain scans showed that 30 percent, or 12, had disruption of the nerve axons — the protuberances that extend from one brain cell to another to transmit electrical impulses — consistent with brain injury.

And in tests of cognitive performance, roughly half of the former players showed significant problems of executive function — a measure of a person's ability to maintain attention, plan and organize. Specifically, 45 percent had measurable problems with learning and memory, 42 percent had problems with attention and concentration, and 24 percent had problems with spatial and perceptual function.

The retired players ranged in age from 27 to 56, and had played in the NFL anywhere from two to 17 years. (The average was seven years.) The study's lead author, FSU's Dr. Francis X. Conidi, called it "one of the largest studies to date in living retired NFL players and one of the first to demonstrate significant objective evidence for traumatic brain injury in these former players."

There was no control group, which would give experts a clear basis for comparison among similar-aged men who had not engaged in contact sports. And it was not clear how the study's participants were recruited, and whether they had sought treatment for neurological problems in advance of their recruitment into the study. Those factors, in addition to the study's relatively small size, make it difficult to drawer larger conclusions.

Comments
Elkanah Kibet wins the menís Gasparilla half-marathon

Elkanah Kibet wins the menís Gasparilla half-marathon

Only a few feet separated Elkanah Kibet and Parker Stinson as they headed down the homestretch in Sunday's Gasparilla Distance Classic half-marathon.Kibet made his move at the right time, surging ahead and holding off the hard-charging Stinson to win...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Any deadline move wonít be cure-all for Lightning

Any deadline move wonít be cure-all for Lightning

The Lightning could very well add another defenseman by Monday's trade deadline, whether it's the bigger fish like Erik Karlsson or Ryan McDonagh, or depth piece like Mike Green.But, either way, one addition won't automatically cure some of the team-...
Updated: 1 hour ago
For starters, Rays at Twins, with Venters making first spring outing since 2013

For starters, Rays at Twins, with Venters making first spring outing since 2013

As the Rays head back to Fort Myers today for a game on the other side of I-75 to take on the Twins at 1:05, there are several spring debuts worth noting:First, that LHP Jonny Venters, trying to make it back to the majors for the first time since 201...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Ex-Rays prospect Andrew Toles working his way back from knee surgery for Dodgers

Ex-Rays prospect Andrew Toles working his way back from knee surgery for Dodgers

SURPRISE, Ariz. — Andrew Toles made a two-base error and went 0-for-3, and his team lost. All told, it was still a pretty good day for the Dodgers left fielder.In his first game since a serious knee injury last May, the former Rays prospect ret...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Florida boosts NCAA resume by beating No. 12 Auburn 72-66

Florida boosts NCAA resume by beating No. 12 Auburn 72-66

GAINESVILLE — KeVaughn Allen finally got the message. It took a scoreless game and long chats with coach Mike White and two teammates to sink in.Allen bounced back from his worst game in more than three years with 24 points, including a 60-foot...
Published: 02/24/18
Updated: 02/25/18
Winter Olympics: Sundayís viewing schedule

Winter Olympics: Sundayís viewing schedule

TV Sunday5 a.m.–7 p.m. NBCSNHockey (M) — Gold-medal game, athletes from Russia vs. Germany (replay)1968 — A 90-minute documentary, narrated by four-time gold medalist and 23-time Grand Slam singles tennis champion Serena Willia...
Published: 02/24/18
Chad Reed sets Supercross mark; Eli Tomac wins 450SX main event

Chad Reed sets Supercross mark; Eli Tomac wins 450SX main event

By JIM TOMLINTimes CorrespondentTAMPA — Chad Reed is having a down season by his standards. At Saturday's Monster Energy Supercross event at Raymond James Stadium, his home track, he needed a second chance just to make the main event.But the Da...
Published: 02/24/18
Ondrej Palat skating, likely mid-March return

Ondrej Palat skating, likely mid-March return

MONTREAL — It is an encouraging sign for the Lightning that wing Ondrej Palat (right) is back on the ice, even if he is doing just light skating.Palat is arguably the team's best two-way forward, someone who plays in all situations, so Tampa Ba...
Published: 02/24/18
Lightning tops Canadiens in shootout, looks ahead to trade deadline

Lightning tops Canadiens in shootout, looks ahead to trade deadline

MONTREAL — There's no guarantee general manager Steve Yzerman will be able to pull off a big move by Monday's trade deadline, though indications are the Lightning and Senators are working hard on a potential Erik Karlsson blockbuster.And the Li...
Published: 02/24/18

Tulane avenges USFís only conference win

TAMPA — Samir Sehic had 17 points and seven rebounds off the bench and Melvin Frazier added 16 points and five assists to lead Tulane over USF 79-68 on Saturday to snap a six-game losing streak.Caleb Daniels added 13 points and Jordan Cornish 1...
Published: 02/24/18