28 Mar 2007

Kickboxing Damages the Brain

Image courtesy:Karolinska Institutet

A new scientific study has shown that kickboxing damages the brain. The researchers have found that repeated head trauma by competitive amateur kickboxers affects a specific part of the brain known as the pituitary. This part of the brain is tiny and sits at the base of the brain. But it has a range of very important functions, mostly to do with hormone control. The scientists found that a lot of kickboxers suffered from hypopituitarism – meaning they were deficient in one or more bodily hormones. A BBC report includes a statement from the WKA (World Kickboxing Association): I have never heard of any such damage.

The Meerkat view: Getting hit in the head or face lots, week in week out, hurts (and I definitely know from painful memories of my kickboxing days) and I’m not surprised that it causes brain damage (although the paper did not look into permanency of the damage). Medical and scientific study of getting hit in the head obviously increases the public knowledge about such activities, but I have a slightly sneaking suspicion that the scientists chose a particularly easy target guaranteed to make headlines and coincidentally boost their careers and peer esteem. Don’t get me wrong, I am pro-science and public understanding. But it’s kind of like studying the effects of cars on roads and saying: yep, cars kill in very messy ways, just thought you should know, I’ll go and collect my Nobel now.

About the Author


Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.



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