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(The New York Times)   On the table, Aaron Hernandez's brain looked normal. Then they sliced it open   ( nytimes.com) divider line
    More: Sick, brain, Cerebral cortex, Human brain, neuropathologist, healthy 27-year-old brain, atrophied young brain, frontal cortex, naked eye  
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3076 clicks; posted to Sports » on 10 Nov 2017 at 7:08 AM (28 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2017-11-10 02:55:21 AM  
I'd sarcastically say "way to bury the lede" except they never got around the f*cking lede.

She spotted "a perfect demonstration" of lesions around the tiny blood vessels, a telltale sign.

Telltale of what?

This one looked as if it had been lifted from the pages of a textbook devoted to just one disease.

Which is...?

"It is a classic case. And it tells us a lot about the disease."

Which disease?

This is the worst piece of journalism I've read in years. Dear Author, you aren't cute or stylistic, you're just an asshole.
 
2017-11-10 03:19:50 AM  
I wonder what the result would be if they compared Chris Benoits brain with Hernandezs.

Benoit was really farked up from 18 years of taking insane risks in the wrestling ring.
 
2017-11-10 03:24:37 AM  
img.fark.netView Full Size

It said Aaron. Aaron something...
 
2017-11-10 03:59:43 AM  
Why was the article so coy about the ID? It can't be a privacy issue, because there is a link which identifies him, even though it does not mention his name in the body of the article.

The WaPo's version of the article places his name in the headline.
 
2017-11-10 04:50:45 AM  
He thought the headline was  needlessly written in clickbait style. But what he saw in the comment thread changed his life forever.
 
2017-11-10 05:16:55 AM  

tomasso: Why was the article so coy about the ID? It can't be a privacy issue, because there is a link which identifies him, even though it does not mention his name in the body of the article.

The WaPo's version of the article places his name in the headline.


I wondered if it was "intentional"...
 
2017-11-10 05:40:19 AM  
CTE is a biatch. I'm glad I'm Canadian and kids aren't pushed into football here. I don't think hockey is quite as bad.
 
2017-11-10 06:00:38 AM  

sithon: CTE is a biatch. I'm glad I'm Canadian and kids aren't pushed into football here. I don't think hockey is quite as bad.


This is true.  Hockey players only lose their front teeth and drive drunk.
 
2017-11-10 06:19:03 AM  

sithon: CTE is a biatch. I'm glad I'm Canadian and kids aren't pushed into football here. I don't think hockey is quite as bad.


Eh?
 
2017-11-10 06:21:47 AM  
I don't know why, but I think I'll have cauliflower for dinner.
 
2017-11-10 06:22:10 AM  

Sid_6.7: I'd sarcastically say "way to bury the lede" except they never got around the f*cking lede.

She spotted "a perfect demonstration" of lesions around the tiny blood vessels, a telltale sign.

Telltale of what?

This one looked as if it had been lifted from the pages of a textbook devoted to just one disease.

Which is...?

"It is a classic case. And it tells us a lot about the disease."

Which disease?

This is the worst piece of journalism I've read in years. Dear Author, you aren't cute or stylistic, you're just an asshole.


CTE

Tgey didn't state it, but if you really didn't know, it's CTE.
 
2017-11-10 07:02:07 AM  
Old news is good news. This article is just saying he had CTE.

Also, at least the sport is doing more to make the game safer. We are not there yet but we are making progress.
 
2017-11-10 07:09:34 AM  
They sliced his brain open and found Crips graffiti?
 
2017-11-10 07:17:57 AM  

sithon: CTE is a biatch. I'm glad I'm Canadian and kids aren't pushed into football here. I don't think hockey is quite as bad.


Is Hockey doing something to mitigate the risks?  They don't let youth soccer players head the ball anymore from weekday i read.  In retrospect, I am glad I only played one year of soccer and never played football.
 
2017-11-10 07:26:27 AM  
Ahhhh-HA! ROAD MAPS!
 
2017-11-10 07:26:47 AM  
How can we tell how much of this damage was done by football compared to how much was done by a ridiculously abusive stepfather?  Seeing as how it's the most advanced case ever for someone of his age, why is this discussion only about the long-term dangers of football and not about the results of child abuse?
 
2017-11-10 07:45:40 AM  

Lifeless: How can we tell how much of this damage was done by football compared to how much was done by a ridiculously abusive stepfather?  Seeing as how it's the most advanced case ever for someone of his age, why is this discussion only about the long-term dangers of football and not about the results of child abuse?


Nice to meet you commissioner Goodell.

Excellent bit of deflection, but the ridiculously abusive stepfather didn't marry his mother until he was almost twenty and his father died four to five years before then.  It's not as if he had a chance to beat Aaron soundly as a child.

Certainly more research needs to be done, but only a fool would say that football didn't cause this problem,
 
2017-11-10 07:59:20 AM  
There is nothing normal about a brain on a table, subby.
 
2017-11-10 08:01:36 AM  

sithon: CTE is a biatch. I'm glad I'm Canadian and kids aren't pushed into football here. I don't think hockey is quite as bad.


As a Canadian I'd rather play football. At least football players know how to tighten up their chinstraps.
 
2017-11-10 08:02:20 AM  
How much of this was also due to his drug use?
 
2017-11-10 08:07:53 AM  

Sid_6.7: I'd sarcastically say "way to bury the lede" except they never got around the f*cking lede.

She spotted "a perfect demonstration" of lesions around the tiny blood vessels, a telltale sign.

Telltale of what?

This one looked as if it had been lifted from the pages of a textbook devoted to just one disease.

Which is...?

"It is a classic case. And it tells us a lot about the disease."

Which disease?

This is the worst piece of journalism I've read in years. Dear Author, you aren't cute or stylistic, you're just an asshole.


I disagree.   I think the entire point was to remove from the article things people already have a preconceived opinion on.

Take away who it was.  Take away the powerful industry, and the fandom.  Take away polarizing concepts like CTE...


Strip it all away.    This is about a brain.  Piece of scientific examination.   And it's profoundly and uniquely damaged. Leave the rest out and focus on that.

Which is horrifying... Or fascinating, scientifically anyway.
 
2017-11-10 08:10:11 AM  
Confirms something we already knew.  Tight Ends are the toughest MF's on the field.  Those guys get the hell hit out of them.
 
2017-11-10 08:27:09 AM  

WinoRhino: How much of this was also due to his drug use?


csb: My wife is a neuroscientist studying the effect of drug use (primarily opioids) and HIV/AIDS on the brain.  Beyond fascinating stuff, 99.9% of which is well over my head.  The study depends on regular testing of their subjects as well as the subject's agreement to donate his/her brain when they die.  That's often hard to do with drug abusers and there have been times that they were unable to retrieve the subject brain making all data collected from that person almost entirely useless.  It can be extremely frustrating.

Also - there is definitely a connection between opioid use and brain issues, but I don't know about any other drug use.
 
2017-11-10 08:28:35 AM  
I think Hernandez was a "bad dude" from the start, but this certainly gives the family another weapon to use in any lawsuits. The NFL has a big CTE problem on their hands, and I don't know how or if they can fix it. I saw a report that Notre Dame is using new helmets next year, ones that have some give to them when hit. Maybe that's a start, I don't know.
 
2017-11-10 08:30:17 AM  

Reyito: And it's profoundly and uniquely damaged.


Maybe.

CTE has a lot in common with Alzheimers and Parkinsonism, except CTE doesn't turn up on imaging prior to autopsy. We see it now, but we also only really started looking for it about a decade ago. It's turned up in really young people who didn't have a significant history of head injury. We don't know why.

Like many other factors, its probably a combination of personal history and genetics. How to weight that remains unknown.
 
2017-11-10 08:31:36 AM  

ChrisDe: I think Hernandez was a "bad dude" from the start, but this certainly gives the family another weapon to use in any lawsuits. The NFL has a big CTE problem on their hands, and I don't know how or if they can fix it. I saw a report that Notre Dame is using new helmets next year, ones that have some give to them when hit. Maybe that's a start, I don't know.


How you say, bad hombre?
 
2017-11-10 08:32:38 AM  

AquaTatanka: sithon: CTE is a biatch. I'm glad I'm Canadian and kids aren't pushed into football here. I don't think hockey is quite as bad.

Is Hockey doing something to mitigate the risks?  They don't let youth soccer players head the ball anymore from weekday i read.  In retrospect, I am glad I only played one year of soccer and never played football.


There's no checking in hockey until what, 12? And fighting is banned unless you reach major junior when you're 16. And the CHL has an accumulation system like yellow cards for fights.
 
2017-11-10 08:43:35 AM  

cman: I wonder what the result would be if they compared Chris Benoits brain with Hernandezs.

Benoit was really farked up from 18 years of taking insane risks in the wrestling ring.


Ben-WHO?  NEVER HEARD OF HIM!!!
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-11-10 08:44:44 AM  

sithon: CTE is a biatch. I'm glad I'm Canadian and kids aren't pushed into football here. I don't think hockey is quite as bad.


It is telling that you did not have this type of brain trauma in the early to middle days of football when they were wearing leather helmets and fewer pads and such and were taught to tackle with the arms and shoulders and not to lead with your head and use it as a battering ram
 
2017-11-10 08:45:12 AM  

sithon: CTE is a biatch. I'm glad I'm Canadian and kids aren't pushed into football here. I don't think hockey is quite as bad.


Give it time, and the NFL will be adapting a lot of rules from the CFL.  You don't really hear about this with your players.
 
2017-11-10 08:50:57 AM  

This text is now purple: CTE has a lot in common with Alzheimers and Parkinsonism, except CTE doesn't turn up on imaging prior to autopsy. We see it now, but we also only really started looking for it about a decade ago. It's turned up in really young people who didn't have a significant history of head injury. We don't know why.


Prions.

Don't eat nervous tissue, kids.
 
2017-11-10 08:53:59 AM  

kdawg7736: Old news is good news. This article is just saying he had CTE.

Also, at least the sport is doing more to make the game safer. We are not there yet but we are making progress.


There will still need to be dramatic changes.  The sport hasto eliminate the kickoff; it's the only play where guys hit each other with 20+ yards to build up a head of steam.

And beyond just CTE issues and into the general realm of injuries, they need to start considering a maximum weight limit.  These players put on at least 50-75 punds of muscles to hit harder, but ligaments and tendons are still the same fragile connective tissues.  The league is hurt by having so many star players out for the season.

/Ultimately, I think the league will need to move towards a style similar to rugby or Aussie rules, where blocking and tackling is wrapping people up instead of hitting them head-on.
 
2017-11-10 08:54:29 AM  

Sid_6.7: I'd sarcastically say "way to bury the lede" except they never got around the f*cking lede.

She spotted "a perfect demonstration" of lesions around the tiny blood vessels, a telltale sign.

Telltale of what?

This one looked as if it had been lifted from the pages of a textbook devoted to just one disease.

Which is...?

"It is a classic case. And it tells us a lot about the disease."

Which disease?

This is the worst piece of journalism I've read in years. Dear Author, you aren't cute or stylistic, you're just an asshole.


Wouldn't want to offend one of the advertisers.

/Capitalism inhibits the free flow of information
 
2017-11-10 08:54:45 AM  

BizarreMan: Lifeless: How can we tell how much of this damage was done by football compared to how much was done by a ridiculously abusive stepfather?  Seeing as how it's the most advanced case ever for someone of his age, why is this discussion only about the long-term dangers of football and not about the results of child abuse?

Nice to meet you commissioner Goodell.

Excellent bit of deflection, but the ridiculously abusive stepfather didn't marry his mother until he was almost twenty and his father died four to five years before then.  It's not as if he had a chance to beat Aaron soundly as a child.

Certainly more research needs to be done, but only a fool would say that football didn't cause this problem,


There's no doubt football contributed to it. But remember that most football players who sustained the level of CTE that Hernandez had when he died lived into their 60s. And most of those who died younger didn't have near the level of damage. Yes, football was one contributor, but there were plenty of others.

/At this point, it would have been interesting if someone had done similar tests on Chris Benoit's brain...
 
2017-11-10 08:59:03 AM  
I'd rant, but I already did that in another thread regarding CTE in NFL players, despite the protests of NFL apologists.
 
2017-11-10 09:08:14 AM  
I saw somewhere that safer helmets result in players hitting harder, negating the improvement.
 
2017-11-10 09:09:26 AM  

GuyFawkes: WinoRhino: How much of this was also due to his drug use?

csb: My wife is a neuroscientist studying the effect of drug use (primarily opioids) and HIV/AIDS on the brain.  Beyond fascinating stuff, 99.9% of which is well over my head.  The study depends on regular testing of their subjects as well as the subject's agreement to donate his/her brain when they die.  That's often hard to do with drug abusers and there have been times that they were unable to retrieve the subject brain making all data collected from that person almost entirely useless.  It can be extremely frustrating.

Also - there is definitely a connection between opioid use and brain issues, but I don't know about any other drug use.


Cool stuff. I bet it is really fascinating work!
I don't want to seem as if I am dismissing CTE. Of course it was a primary factor. I just recall hearing Hernandez was taking meth and such, so I'm curious if the combination of the two was an accelerator somehow. But I admit to knowing nothing about this stuff.
 
2017-11-10 09:12:02 AM  

sithon: CTE is a biatch. I'm glad I'm Canadian and kids aren't pushed into football here. I don't think hockey is quite as bad.


You might want to read Ken Dryden's latest book. It's believed that hockey players get about 10-15 sub concussive blows per game. Per game.
 
2017-11-10 09:14:24 AM  

bluorangefyre: sithon: CTE is a biatch. I'm glad I'm Canadian and kids aren't pushed into football here. I don't think hockey is quite as bad.

Give it time, and the NFL will be adapting a lot of rules from the CFL.  You don't really hear about this with your players.


It's there, but not as much. Partly due to the lower number of players and the fact that there isn't as much money to chase. However moving linemen 1 yard off the ball would be significant. It gives the o line a chance to get up and steady themselves.
 
2017-11-10 09:16:35 AM  
happydude45:   It is telling that you did not have this type of brain trauma in the early to middle days of football when they were wearing leather helmets . . .

Got a cite for that, because it may have just flown under the radar.
 
2017-11-10 09:32:15 AM  

bluorangefyre: sithon: CTE is a biatch. I'm glad I'm Canadian and kids aren't pushed into football here. I don't think hockey is quite as bad.

Give it time, and the NFL will be adapting a lot of rules from the CFL.  You don't really hear about this with your players.


What are the CFL rules that would apply?
 
2017-11-10 09:47:14 AM  

ChrisDe: bluorangefyre: sithon: CTE is a biatch. I'm glad I'm Canadian and kids aren't pushed into football here. I don't think hockey is quite as bad.

Give it time, and the NFL will be adapting a lot of rules from the CFL.  You don't really hear about this with your players.

What are the CFL rules that would apply?


wider field and a yard off the line of scrimmage at the snap are two of the biggest ones that come to mind.
 
2017-11-10 09:50:55 AM  

WinoRhino: GuyFawkes: WinoRhino: How much of this was also due to his drug use?

csb: My wife is a neuroscientist studying the effect of drug use (primarily opioids) and HIV/AIDS on the brain.  Beyond fascinating stuff, 99.9% of which is well over my head.  The study depends on regular testing of their subjects as well as the subject's agreement to donate his/her brain when they die.  That's often hard to do with drug abusers and there have been times that they were unable to retrieve the subject brain making all data collected from that person almost entirely useless.  It can be extremely frustrating.

Also - there is definitely a connection between opioid use and brain issues, but I don't know about any other drug use.

Cool stuff. I bet it is really fascinating work!
I don't want to seem as if I am dismissing CTE. Of course it was a primary factor. I just recall hearing Hernandez was taking meth and such, so I'm curious if the combination of the two was an accelerator somehow. But I admit to knowing nothing about this stuff.


Oh, same here, without a doubt.  My only knowledge of neurology is from my wife and our friends who are mainly scientists and doctors.  One thing I do know is that they are all beyond convinced without question of the link between head trauma and CTE and I do recall something about opioids and physical damage to the brain, so I can imagine that meth would have some measurable impact as well.

One benefit of marrying a scientist and knowing a fair share of surgeons and researchers is that even the most basic "guy stuff" like building a work bench, doing major drainage work on my property, and general projects around the house seem freaking awesome to people who, while positively brilliant, are far more the book-smart kind of folks.  I'll gladly accept their compliments even though doing something like building a patio isn't terribly difficult!
 
2017-11-10 09:58:34 AM  

happydude45: sithon: CTE is a biatch. I'm glad I'm Canadian and kids aren't pushed into football here. I don't think hockey is quite as bad.

It is telling that you did not have this type of brain trauma in the early to middle days of football when they were wearing leather helmets and fewer pads and such and were taught to tackle with the arms and shoulders and not to lead with your head and use it as a battering ram


People just died instantly, instead of when they were 75.
 
2017-11-10 10:00:23 AM  

UNC_Samurai: And beyond just CTE issues and into the general realm of injuries, they need to start considering a maximum weight limit.


Players aren't markedly larger than they were in the 1980s.

\Now, they might be faster
\\But adopting CFL-type rules actually makes this worse.
 
2017-11-10 10:05:05 AM  

WinoRhino: How much of this was also due to his drug use?


According to at least one study, contact sports are the a necessary factor in developing CTE.

"CTE pathology was not detected in 198 individuals without exposure to contact sports, including 33 individuals with documented single-incident TBI sustained from falls, motor vehicle accidents, domestic violence, or assault."

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti​c​les/PMC4655127/
 
2017-11-10 10:18:22 AM  

Representative of the unwashed masses: ChrisDe: bluorangefyre: sithon: CTE is a biatch. I'm glad I'm Canadian and kids aren't pushed into football here. I don't think hockey is quite as bad.

Give it time, and the NFL will be adapting a lot of rules from the CFL.  You don't really hear about this with your players.

What are the CFL rules that would apply?

wider field and a yard off the line of scrimmage at the snap are two of the biggest ones that come to mind.


One would think that giving the defense 3 feet instead of 11 inches for which to gain speed would result in more powerful collisions, not less. Same goes for a wider field, more distance to gain momentum. I'm not sure these rules make the game safer.

The new helmet designs are getting excellent, with multiple layers of different kinds of padding to slow the impact speed to the head. As years progress safety equipment will continue to get better.

This text is now purple: happydude45: sithon: CTE is a biatch. I'm glad I'm Canadian and kids aren't pushed into football here. I don't think hockey is quite as bad.

It is telling that you did not have this type of brain trauma in the early to middle days of football when they were wearing leather helmets and fewer pads and such and were taught to tackle with the arms and shoulders and not to lead with your head and use it as a battering ram

People just died instantly, instead of when they were 75.


Only one professional football player has ever died on the field, and it was from a coronary, not an impact.
 
2017-11-10 10:30:24 AM  
There are stories of Hernandez being a sociopath a long time prior to his pro football career.
 
2017-11-10 10:33:06 AM  

ChrisDe: I think Hernandez was a "bad dude" from the start, but this certainly gives the family another weapon to use in any lawsuits. The NFL has a big CTE problem on their hands, and I don't know how or if they can fix it. I saw a report that Notre Dame is using new helmets next year, ones that have some give to them when hit. Maybe that's a start, I don't know.


Not always a bad dude... just took a wrong turn after his dad died... and went study downhill from there.
 
2017-11-10 10:37:30 AM  

Sid_6.7: I'd sarcastically say "way to bury the lede" except they never got around the f*cking lede.

She spotted "a perfect demonstration" of lesions around the tiny blood vessels, a telltale sign.

Telltale of what?

This one looked as if it had been lifted from the pages of a textbook devoted to just one disease.

Which is...?

"It is a classic case. And it tells us a lot about the disease."

Which disease?

This is the worst piece of journalism I've read in years. Dear Author, you aren't cute or stylistic, you're just an asshole.


Here's what's funny (and maybe because I haven't had my coffee): I didn't realize until quite late in the article (around the time I got to the link) that neither Hernandez nor CTE had actually been identified. I saw the Fark headline first, so I knew who it was about, and just didn't go looking for those details. It's like that moment late in the Sixth Sense when you say "hey wait, I just realized nobody other than the kid has talked to Bruce Willis since the first scene."
 
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