Well, I know I said I would post every Sunday, but I forgot that I work in rec hockey in a university setting now, and last weekend was the busiest. I had to train someone from a Middle Eastern country on hockey, a front desk girl on her deathbed from a cold, and a no-show. Thankfully, I had one person show up to do his job who didn’t need supervising so that worked out.
Sunday was painful because I went to the gym before “work” (meaning hockey work), did my legs for the first time in ages, and needed coffee to help with the lactic acid; I was going to be running around reffing ball hockey afterwards anyways and so there really wasn’t any point in spending half an hour on the bike to effectively get rid of it. So my shift started at 6pm…
The coffee shop nearby doesn’t close until 8 and I was still dying.
Did not count on the fact that it would keep me up so I lay in bed until the wee hours of the morning, wondering what’s going on because I wasn’t feeling anxious, so I didn’t chalk it up to insomnia. Didn’t realize I was still up because of…
Well, at least it wasn’t anxiety and insomnia…that would’ve been worse and this was my own undoing.
I actually wanted to write about what the brain goes through when it decides to self-terminate but Boston University dropped a bombshell regarding chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and football players. The article is right here. The gist of the article is that of former NFLers’ brains studied, over 96% of them had CTE from repeated blows to the head. In post-professional life, these former players goes through very bad depressive thoughts, and some may even successfully commit suicide. Off the top of my head, a few former professional athletes were linked to this, namely, Junior Seau of the NFL, Wade Belak, Derek Boogaard, and Rick Rypien from the National Hockey League were suspected, but not able to confirm for whatever donation-related reason.
(And more recently Todd Ewen, but it was a gunshot to the head so we’ll never know.)
I managed to find the abstract of the original journal publication from Boston U (but not the whole article), and they also did the brain of a professional wrestler.
Now, this is in line with what I have planned for the next few weeks, so bear with me if I skip ahead because this is recent news. This is an fMRI sample of one of the brains studied post-mortem, courtesy of USA Today.The fact that the amygdala and thalamus are highlighted with CTE and suicide further supports that they are somehow interconnected with anxiety and depression, instead of something in, say, the prefrontal cortex, or the cerebellum. Both of those regions, along with the hippocampus, are deep in the brain.
From an evolutionary perspective, that’s kinda neat because what’s the purpose in that? The decision-making part of the brain is on the front of the brain, vision in the back…
But as part of my PSA, here’s a comparison between a healthy brain and one that’s gone through repeated concussions.
I must confess though, I hate the sight of brains, so this is making me a bit nauseous. But this is also in line with those suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s. So rest your brain if you get a concussion; it’s so not worth it.
Going back to the original Boston U study, they have also found that Docosahexaenoic acid also helps improving “cognitive performance” in rats with brain injury (Lucke-Wold et al, 2015). Docosahexaenoic acid is also known as Omega 3. So, much like me with my leg day exercises, it’s a good excuse for steak and meat in general (primarily steak) so my muscles can recover quicker. Something like salmon or better yet, a sushi buffet, would help concussion patients; however, Lucke-Wold emphasized they don’t know the link between omega 3 fatty acids and the brain’s neurogenesis regarding concussions, and this particular area of study needs more research.
……Don’t look at me like that! The most I’m willing to experiment on myself are SSRIs….which, now that I think about it, I should look into whether concussion patients were prescribed SSRIs…but not actual concussions!
Here’s a random song that I’ve been listening to while I was writing.
Follow me on Twitter @288theabe. Stop friggin’ looking at me like that!