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

Study reveals state of crisis in Canadian foster care system

9 hours ago

A new study of foster care in Canada led by a researcher at Western University reveals a shrinking number of foster care providers are available across the country to care for a growing number of children with increasingly ...

Researchers prove the benefits of persimmons for diet

10 hours ago

Alba Mir and Ana Domingo, researchers from the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Valencia, under the supervision of professors Miguel de la Guardia and Maria Luisa Cervera, from the same department, ...

Hand blenders used for cooking can emit persistent chemicals

10 hours ago

Eight out of twelve tested models of hand blenders are leaking chlorinated paraffins when used according to the suppliers' instructions. This is revealed in a report from Stockholm University where researchers analyzed a ...

User comments