New study finds concussion-related health problems in retired football players

Repeated concussions and mild brain trauma can result in reduced levels of growth hormone, gonadotropin, and thyroid hormones, causing disorders such as metabolic syndrome and erectile dysfunction and overall poor quality of life. The results of a new study of retired professional football players that compares number of concussions sustained during their careers and health problems associated with hormonal deficiency is published in Journal of Neurotrauma, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Journal of Neurotrauma.

In the article "Prevalence of pituitary hormone dysfunction, metabolic syndrome and impaired quality of life in retired : a prospective study," the authors report that more than 50% of the retired players evaluated for growth hormone deficiency, hypogonadism, and quality of life had suffered at least three concussions during their careers in the National Football League. Repeat concussion is common in the NFL.

John T. Povlishock, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Neurotrauma and Professor, Medical College of Virginia Campus of Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, notes that "although as emphasized by the authors, this study awaits further confirmation with expanded sample sizes and a more critical linkage to a history of concussion intensity and intervals between the concussive injuries, the findings are of considerable interest. Importantly, this study moves us away from the singular focus that repetitive concussive brain injuries ultimately lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy to the premise that such injuries can elicit pituitary dysfunction and that may be significant contributors to a poor quality of life in a subset of professional athletes."

More information: Journal of Neurotrauma DOI: 10.1089/neu.2013.321

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NIH, NFL team up to take on concussion research

Dec 16, 2013

(HealthDay)—The U.S. National Institutes of Health is teaming up with the National Football League on research into the long-term effects of repeated head injuries and improving concussion diagnosis.

Recommended for you

Electronic health records tied to shorter time in ER

21 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Length of emergency room stay for trauma patients is shorter with the use of electronic health records, according to a study published in the September issue of the Journal of Emergency Nursing.

CDC: Almost everyone needs a flu shot

Sep 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—Less than half of all Americans got a flu shot last year, so U.S. health officials on Thursday urged that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated for the coming flu season. "It's really unfortunate ...

User comments