As weird as it might be, there are some who still do not see the dangers in head trauma these days. At least when it comes to CTE, which stands for Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, there is doubt among many. However, while it took years to get respect from neurologists and sports institutions, it now has some. Yet again, some do not want to give it that completely. While it would not be an issue if it was was some doctor in nowhere Kansas, that is not the case this time.
Instead, the issue is with Dr. Joseph Maroon. Maroon is an NFL medical consultant and works as a neurosurgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers. On top of this, he is a medical doctor WWE uses all the time. While Maroon is a smart surgeon, he had some “questionable” comments when he appeared on NFL Total Access recently. He spoke about CTE, claiming…
“I think the problem of CTE, although real, is it’s being over-exaggerated and being extrapolated to youth football and to high school football. We came up with 63 total cases of CTE [and] in the last two years a few more, but there have been 30-40 million kids who have played football during that period of time. It’s a rare phenomena. We have no idea the incidence. There are more injuries to kids falling off bikes, scooters, falling in playgrounds than there are in youth football. I think again, it’s never been safer. Can we improve? Yes. We have to do better all the time to make it safer.”
Chris Nowinski, who worked for WWE for a while before having to retire due to multiple concussions, had this to say about Maroon’s comments.
“As to whether CTE is rare in the general population, that is true. CTE has never been found in an individual who was not exposed to significant brain trauma. It has been found in the vast majority of NFL players and professional boxers who have been studied, but the true risk in that population is unknown because of the absence of a test for CTE in the living.”
That is the thing about CTE, and it is one of the many reasons Nowinski founded The Sports Legacy Institute. The fact is, CTE won’t be found in someone being randomly born who is not exposed to extreme brain trauma nor will you find it in all who play sports. Yet when you study people who do have continued brain trauma occurring, the cases of CTE are staggering. This disorder has caused many to commit suicide or make questionable decisions which led to their death.
Several WWE Superstars died with symptoms of CTE, even people such as Chris Benoit. That is not the last either, as several NFL players such as Junior Seau were also said to have had it. So to say it is over-exaggerated is like saying the ocean water cannot get deep because you are at the shore. We still have things to learn about CTE, and for a noted neurosurgeon to claim CTE is over-exaggerated is the exact reason why studies are harder to do for it.
Maroon believes in concussion, as this is a disorder caused by one thing, a significant blow to the head. It can happen in football or even in a car wreck. However, CTE seems to come in when concussions are not only more frequent, but when brain issues start to arise from them among continues brain trauma exposure. Today, the NFL and WWE take precautions to protect players and talent.
NFL rules state that if you have a diagnosed concussion, you are out for the remainder of the game and have to get checked out by team and outside facility doctors. Once cleared, you can return. WWE is a bit more open, as you rarely see a match stopped. Howevesr, people such as Dolph Ziggler missed significant time due to a concussion.
Maroon brought up youth organizations and cases of CTE. Not everyone will get CTE if they play an organized sport. The problem comes up when they continue to expose themselves to head blows or things similar. This may be rare to see because precautions are being taken, which is good to see. However, it can exist in youth sports as much as it can in pro sports. Yet not everyone will get it. So it is not over-exaggerated, it simply still misunderstood. WWE and the NFL both seem to be trying at least.
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