Youthful energy sometimes runs too high – resulting in fistfights, brawls, scuffles…and this energy isn’t limited to teenagers. Whether boxing for entertainment or out of anger, people need to be aware of how much damage a simple-seeming punch can cause.
Whatever the impetus, one hit to the wrong place can cause serious, permanent damage. An impact to the head can have unseen consequences, with memory problems and impaired cognitive functioning showing up long after the initial incident. It’s not just the force of hand to head that’s dangerous, it’s also the fall that the person may take after being knocked about.
A 2007 study from the American Academy of Neurology, tittled Does Amateur Boxing Cause Brain Damage?, focused on brain damage indicators such as high levels in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of neuronal and glial markers in the brains of amateur boxers. They found that there was four times the level in boxers compared to healthy non-athletes.
Considering that boxers make a living at a sport where the head is regularly impacted, this study has some potential application. There are a variety of opinions and even studies that try to either prove or disprove the lasting effects of a concussion – whether or not it can cause permanent brain damage. As with most topics we discuss here, we aren’t stating that this scenario is the absolute “for sure” one, but that prevention makes a world of difference.
You may not typically be an angry person, but perhaps the knowledge that one strong punch or even slap can cause brain damage will stay your hand when you are close to losing it. Perhaps bringing awareness of the potential for life-long damage will encourage youth to think twice before engaging in “friendly” boxing. Awareness – it’s a start!
Image from Beavis and Butthead.