October 9, 2013 |
* FRONTLINE. LEAGUE OF DENIAL: THE NFL'S CONCUSSION CRISIS. 9 tonight, WHYY12. HALL OF FAMER Harry Carson has a 3-year-old grandson who won't be playing football if Carson has anything to say about it. "I've told his mom, my daughter, that he's not going to play football. And his father has bought in," the retired New York Giants linebacker told reporters this summer during a news conference in Beverly Hills, Calif., for PBS' "Frontline" investigation "League of Denial: The NFL's Concussion Crisis.
October 7, 2013 |
Getting injured is a tricky thing. I'm a month into running again after being forced to take three months off. I thought recovery would be easier when I was allowed to hit the road again. Not quite. "It's very rare, in my experience, that physical rehab and emotional rehab progress at the same pace," said Joel Fish, sports psychologist and director of the Center for Sports Psychology in Philadelphia. And that's true. After a month off my feet - after the novelty of riding a stationary bike and having more free time wore off - I was ready to get back out there.
September 16, 2013 |
William Acosta lies asleep on an operating table at Jefferson University Hospital. A surgeon is drilling a pen-sized hole into his skull. Curiously, the OR begins to smell like sawdust. Doctors then reduce his anesthesia, and Acosta, his brain still open, wakes up. Over the next five hours, Acosta, 56, of Glenside, will be both a patient and a collaborator in his own brain care. By staying awake, he will help surgeons find the part of his brain involved in Parkinson's disease.
September 5, 2013
CAN YOU believe it? Summer is gone and another school year is upon us! While many of us parents are scrambling to lock down new wardrobes, bus schedules and school supplies for our kids, there's one more thing we need to put on the table, literally: breakfast. Breakfast not only helps kids (and adults) maintain a healthy weight, it also gives schoolchildren a cognitive boost, increasing concentration, memory, test scores and even attendance. Countless studies have proved the importance of eating breakfast.
August 31, 2013 |
Once a hard-driving fullback for the Eagles, Kevin Turner no longer has the hand strength to grasp a straw. That helps explain why Turner considered Thursday's news of a settlement between the National Football League and former NFL players suing the league to be as big a victory as any he had experienced on the field. Turner, 44, found out he shouldn't have to prove that his many symptoms from his diagnosed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, came from his eight seasons in the NFL. A lead plaintiff in the class-action settlement reached between 4,500 former players and the NFL, Turner should receive some of the $765 million the league will pay to settle lawsuits.
August 31, 2013 |
The NFL had considerable legal defenses in its fight with retired players over injuries caused by the violent collisions that are at the heart of the sport, not the least of those being a contract with the players that substantially restricts lawsuits. But in the face of public opinion, and the potential damage to its image, those defenses likely became much less important to the league. The prospect of slugging it out with the players in a multiyear litigation battle in which damaging information is disclosed and the public is regularly reminded of the sport's sometimes brutal impact on player health likely was a powerful incentive for the league to settle.
August 26, 2013 |
Seventeen-year-old Imani Gordon thinks a good memory will help her be a better veterinarian someday. So the West Philadelphia student was intrigued when she saw a poster on the train for a Temple University memory study. She had already signed up for Lumosity, an online brain-training program. The study might help too, she thought. Plus, it paid $120. "I just want to improve my memory," she said after finishing preliminary testing at psychologist Jason Chein's neurocognition laboratory last month.
August 9, 2013
YOU MIGHT not call him a brainiac, but Dr. Neal Barnard is certainly brainy. He takes care of his gray matter and wants you to take care of yours. He'll be at the Ethical Society Friday night to talk about it. Power Foods for the Brain (Hachette) is Barnard's latest book, and his thinking on food and health is worth paying attention to. Not just because he's a best-selling author, does nutrition research, teaches medicine at George Washington University School of Medicine and runs the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, all of which take mental acuity.
August 4, 2013 |
Elizabeth Torres, a computational neuroscientist at Rutgers University, thinks many experts are making a mistake when they focus only on what's malfunctioning in the brains of people with autism. She sees autism as a condition of the whole body in which information from all sorts of sensory channels - movement, touch, pain, vision, temperature - is not reaching the brain properly while messages from the brain that tell the body what to do also are not getting through. "The whole loop is disrupted," she said as she explained two studies published last month in Frontiers in Neuroscience that lay out her theories on the importance of movement as a form of sensation and perception in autism.
July 17, 2013 |
Tug McGraw. John Vukovich. Johnny Oates. And now Darren Daulton. All four played for the Phillies at Veterans Stadium, and all four developed brain cancer. Is there a connection? The rate of brain cancers in team members from that era appears to be about three times the rate in the adult male population, according to an Inquirer analysis that was reviewed by a University of Pennsylvania epidemiologist. And that elevated rate of brain cancer is statistically significant, though the analysis had certain limitations and the pattern easily could be due to chance, said Penn's Timothy R. Rebbeck.