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#1
Old 07-19-2011, 06:21 PM
Danny Gunz
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Default Brain study for boxers and MMA fighters

http://www.lvrj.com/news/brain-study...125787523.html

A new study by the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health could ultimately let professional fighters know when they should hang up their gloves or suffer permanent brain damage.

The result of that research, which would monitor fighters' brains over four years to get a better understanding of head trauma, also could be used to give licensing commissions objective data to determine when, or if, a fighter should return to the ring after a knockout or a bad beating.

The fact that Las Vegas is known as the boxing capital of the world and home to the Ultimate Fighting Championship stable of mixed martial arts fighters made the Ruvo Center "a natural" for such a study, researchers said.

Anthony Lenk, a Las Vegas junior welterweight who has a 12-1 boxing record, said Monday that he believes the study is a good idea.

"I've noticed that when fighters stay too long, the punches have a big effect on the brain," the 21-year-old boxer said. "And anything with the brain, you don't want to mess with. ... I'm going to check it (the study) out."

Vitor Belfort, the former light heavyweight champion in Ultimate Fighting Championship, called the study "awesome."

"Our sport is really just starting to grow, and ... we need to study all kinds of things. This is definitely one of them," the 34-year-old mixed martial arts fighter said. "I'm lucky to work for a company in the UFC that really supports health for all of the athletes. They don't like seeing guys get knocked out over and over, and they encourage fighters to retire when that is happening. They are always looking out for the health of all of the fighters, and this is just another thing that could help with that."

Those are the type of reactions that researchers are hoping for as they move forward with research that potentially could limit punch drunk syndrome, or dementia pugilistica, and other neurological damage so often associated with former fighters.

KERKORIAN FOUNDATION PROVIDES GRANT

Researchers, who already have begun testing some 20 participants, hope to get more than 650 boxers and mixed martial arts fighters to volunteer for the project. Billionaire Kirk Kerkorian's Lincy Foundation funded the study with a grant of more than $400,000.

Pat Barry, a local boxing trainer, isn't sure the study will be applauded by everyone.

"I think for young fighters, it can be a good thing," he said. "You start with a baseline and follow their progress throughout their career. You can get an accurate measurement of how their brain has been impacted. But I can see where an older fighter might not want to participate. They might be afraid they'll find something and force them to quit boxing."

Dr. Charles Bernick, associate director of the Ruvo Center and the neurologist leading the study, said test results of the study will be completely confidential. He said it will be up to licensing commissions across the country eventually to stipulate testing and regulations if the research shows that testing can provide solid insight into the condition of the brain.

Study participants will undergo four annual MRI brain scans, along with cognitive and speech tests and physical exams to monitor how brain activity can be changed by head trauma in the ring.

"This study will help us to better understand what happens in a fighter's brain in the course of a career," said the Cleveland Clinic's Maureen Peckman, who is coordinating the study between the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, officials with the Nevada State Athletic Commission and boxing and mixed martial arts promoters. "We need evidence-based protocols for people to make objective, rather than subjective, decisions about when someone can participate."

BRAIN SCANS WILL BE EMPLOYED

Changes in brain volume, scarring and blood flow will be measured through brain scans. Changes seen on a participant's MRI will be correlated with their performance on cognitive assessments and neurologic exams. When fighters show a correlation between MRI findings and cognitive decline, researchers hope to determine whether there is a relationship to a number of factors, including knockouts, number of rounds fought and number of blows suffered.

"It's important to know the true brain health impact that boxing and other combative sports have on fighters," said Dr. Michael Modic, chairman of the Neurological Institute at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. "We hope to find a way to identify fighters with repetitive injuries to be able to knowledgeably tell fighters when to hang up the gloves and help them heal."

Currently, there is no way to determine whether a fighter has sustained, cumulative brain damage. Unless there is a documented head injury, only one MRI result must be given to the state athletic commission by a boxer over the course of his career.

Peckman said it is possible that regulations could be put in place that would call for a boxer to have a yearly MRI.

Keith Kizer, executive director of the athletic commission, noted that the benefits from the study can go well beyond sports.

"It's not just about making boxing or mixed martial arts safer, but all head injuries, like in car accidents," he said. "Maybe it can lead to a cure for Parkinson's or Alzheimer's."

Kizer said that the commission can't force fighters to participate. But he praised promoters for their cooperation.

EFFORT SUPPORTED BY PROMOTERS

Peckman said boxing promoters Bob Arum and Richard Schaefer and Ultimate Fighting Championship chairman Lorenzo Fertitta are encouraging fighters to participate in the study.

"These people care and love each other in the sports deeply," she said. "They want to protect each other. "

Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank boxing, said the study "is important to us because the more information we have, the more lives we can save."

Gil Martinez, who teaches boxing to mixed martial arts fighters at Xtreme Couture gym in Las Vegas, is also squarely behind the research effort.

"Anything that can help these guys understand the trauma their heads are going through is a step in the right direction," he said. "A lot of MMA fighters don't wear headgear when they're sparring and something like this might show them the dangers they are putting their heads through."

Bernick said the Ruvo Center has only one major goal.

"Our goal is to help the next generation of fighters by improving fighting safety," he said. "New technologies, such as advanced MRI scanning, may offer us the ability to determine who is at greatest risk to develop permanent brain injury and to detect it at its earliest stages."
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#2
Old 07-19-2011, 06:26 PM
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This could potentially lead to alot of rule changes in both sports.
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#3
Old 07-19-2011, 06:40 PM
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You guys are pathetic keep talking about drug testing and Manny - Floyd while not reading on actually important news in boxing.

I hope Manny finally agrees to a blood test and during the test when they are taking the blood the needle has been dipped in a big bucket of AIDS. So Manny and Floyd have AIDS and on the fight they both get cut and Roach and Roger Mayweather get it too. Then later Floyd punches Manny and blood flies into the crowd and lands right in Bob Arum's dumb fucking mouth. Then a month or two after the fight where Floyd won a pretty convincing decision they start talking about a meaningless rematch, and right as the talks start all of them die from the AIDS they got in the drug testing.
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#4
Old 07-19-2011, 06:44 PM
moal
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You mad because no one cares about this thread?
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:47 PM
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i Hope Roy Jones doesnt see this, he might use it as an excuse to carry on for the next 4 years whilst they collect data.

It's a good idea in principle if only for some good PR if nothing more. I doubt the powers that be will force fighters who havent proved brain samples to retire based on no hard factual evidence?
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#6
Old 07-19-2011, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by moal View Post
You mad because no one cares about this thread?
No that people on here have consistently for almost 1 and a half years straight have talked about drug testing and a non existing fight rather then things that actually matter in the sport. I also just felt like writing a sarcastic rant about it.
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#7
Old 07-19-2011, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by chav View Post
i Hope Roy Jones doesnt see this, he might use it as an excuse to carry on for the next 4 years whilst they collect data.

It's a good idea in principle if only for some good PR if nothing more. I doubt the powers that be will force fighters who havent proved brain samples to retire based on no hard factual evidence?
Yeah I doubt it has a huge impact on the sport more of just a good measure so at the very least the fighters know the possible damage they have received due to how long or aggressive they have been fighting.

There was a good comment in the comments section of the article about the UFC masking the results of the tests heres what it said:

In Nevada, fighters for promoters like UFC are independent contractors (i.e. no workers comp if you get hurt) yet the UFC also requires its fighters to sign both exclusivity clauses in their contracts, as well as clauses which severely limit the ability of UFC fighters to make public comment. UFC "throws away" many fighters each year. My bet is that no active, popular UFC fighters will sign up for this brain study program, and that if the fighters UFC has "thrown away" are discovered to have signed up for the brain study program UFC will seek injunctive relief to keep their "alumni" from participating, or at the very least to enjoin the "alumni" from saying they are former UFC fighters. Just watch.
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Danny Gunz View Post
You guys are pathetic keep talking about drug testing and Manny - Floyd while not reading on actually important news in boxing.

I hope Manny finally agrees to a blood test and during the test when they are taking the blood the needle has been dipped in a big bucket of AIDS. So Manny and Floyd have AIDS and on the fight they both get cut and Roach and Roger Mayweather get it too. Then later Floyd punches Manny and blood flies into the crowd and lands right in Bob Arum's dumb fucking mouth. Then a month or two after the fight where Floyd won a pretty convincing decision they start talking about a meaningless rematch, and right as the talks start all of them die from the AIDS they got in the drug testing.
Dude great article, I really hope some good comes out of it. Nothing is worse then watching one of ur heroes go from warrior, to disabled old man in what seems like a split second. These guys put their lives on the line, but as soon as they stop fighting it feels like the fans all but forget about them.

Having said that u need to take it easy. Sure ur thread has substance but u can't get mad just because people choose to eat ice cream for dinner and not the salad u made. Wishing AIDS on anyone is pretty fuked up. Floyd, Manny, and even arum all have families. U wouldn't want ur son reading how someone hopes u get aids and die.
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#9
Old 07-19-2011, 07:01 PM
Danny Gunz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeDaWg View Post
Dude great article, I really hope some good comes out of it. Nothing is worse then watching one of ur heroes go from warrior, to disabled old man in what seems like a split second. These guys put their lives on the line, but as soon as they stop fighting it feels like the fans all but forget about them.

Having said that u need to take it easy. Sure ur thread has substance but u can't get mad just because people choose to eat ice cream for dinner and not the salad u made. Wishing AIDS on anyone is pretty fuked up. Floyd, Manny, and even arum all have families. U wouldn't want ur son reading how someone hopes u get aids and die.
I dont actually want them to get AIDS and die I was just messing around trying to ruffle some feathers.
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#10
Old 07-19-2011, 07:02 PM
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If boxing was as mainstream as football, it would of been shut down by now.

I've always said being a niche sport is what keeps it around. If there was ever a public study on guys like meldrick Taylor, or riddick bowe, gatti, etc, this sport would be damn near unaffordable for any promoter.

Fans often forget, thisnis the only sport where people die, every year. Could you imagine if peyton manning ever showed up one day sluring and shaking?
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