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New Nevada regulation requires professional fighters to undergo regular computerized cognitive testing

brain_craniumNeva­da offi­cials to require brain health test­ing for fight­ers (Las Vegas Review-Jour­nal):

The Neva­da Ath­let­ic Com­mis­sion will require all licensed fight­ers in the Sil­ver State, includ­ing pro­fes­sion­al box­ers and mixed mar­tial ath­letes, to under­go reg­u­lar brain health test­ing, offi­cials announced Tues­day in Wash­ing­ton, D.C...

The ath­letes will be required to under­go assess­ments using the Cleve­land Clin­ic C3 appli­ca­tion, an iPad-based test­ing tool in the Ruvo Center’s Pro­fes­sion­al Fight­ers Brain Health Study, Ber­nick said.

Bob Arum, chair­man of the box­ing pro­mo­tions com­pa­ny Top Rank, said every­one in the box­ing world should be on-board with the new reg­u­la­tion, which he called a win-win sit­u­a­tion… “It will give the fight­ers a base­line so if there’s a dete­ri­o­ra­tion in years to come, they can iden­ti­fy it.”

Study: Repeat­ed head trau­ma is asso­ci­at­ed with small­er thal­a­m­ic vol­umes and slow­er pro­cess­ing speed: the Pro­fes­sion­al Fight­ers’ Brain Health Study. (British Jour­nal of Sports Med­i­cine)

  • OBJECTIVES: Cumu­la­tive head trau­ma may alter brain struc­ture and func­tion. We explored the rela­tion­ship between expo­sure vari­ables, cog­ni­tion and MRI brain struc­tur­al mea­sures in a cohort of pro­fes­sion­al com­bat­ants.
  • METHODS: 224 fight­ers (131 mixed mar­tial arts fight­ers and 93 box­ers) par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Pro­fes­sion­al Fight­ers Brain Health Study, a lon­gi­tu­di­nal cohort study of licensed pro­fes­sion­al com­bat­ants, were recruit­ed, as were 22 con­trols. Each par­tic­i­pant under­went com­put­erised cog­ni­tive test­ing and vol­u­met­ric brain MRI. Fight­ing his­to­ry includ­ing years of fight­ing and fights per year was obtained from self-report and pub­lished records. Sta­tis­ti­cal analy­ses of the base­line eval­u­a­tions were applied cross-sec­tion­al­ly to deter­mine the rela­tion­ship between fight expo­sure vari­ables and vol­umes of the hip­pocam­pus, amyg­dala, thal­a­mus, cau­date, puta­men. More­over, the rela­tion­ship between expo­sure and brain vol­umes with cog­ni­tive func­tion was assessed.
  • RESULTS: Increas­ing expo­sure to repet­i­tive head trau­ma mea­sured by num­ber of pro­fes­sion­al fights, years of fight­ing, or a Fight Expo­sure Score (FES) was asso­ci­at­ed with low­er brain vol­umes, par­tic­u­lar­ly the thal­a­mus and cau­date. In addi­tion, speed of pro­cess­ing decreased with decreased thal­a­m­ic vol­umes and with increas­ing fight expo­sure. High­er scores on a FES used to reflect expo­sure to repet­i­tive head trau­ma were asso­ci­at­ed with greater like­li­hood of hav­ing cog­ni­tive impair­ment.
  • CONCLUSIONS: Greater expo­sure to repet­i­tive head trau­ma is asso­ci­at­ed with low­er brain vol­umes and low­er pro­cess­ing speed in active pro­fes­sion­al fight­ers.

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