A couple of minor bangs to your head would not cause long term neurological tragedies. But banging your head thousands of times during a career in professional hockey (or professional football) sure cause tragic damage to the brain. In my practice, I have seen several retired players with dementia. They have a hard time driving, keeping track of their medications, or figuring out a tip in a restaurant (and they are in their 60s).
People who choose to engage in sports with high risk of brain damage (such as boxing, hockey, or football) need more education about the long term consequences they will face. Would you like to be demented or have behavioral problems (such as anger management) that shatter your life in your 60s?
It is about time that folks who make millions off the brains of young players acknowledge the link between concussions and dementia in late life, and to do something to remedy the situation.
Majid Fotuhi, MD PhD
June 25, 2018