Study Shows that MMA Fighters Suffer More Traumatic Brain Injuries than Other Sports
After 29-year-old Mixed Martial Artist Booto Guylain died in early March from a traumatic brain injury, researchers looked into the rates of concussion and brain trauma in MMA fighting and found that at least 30% of fighters suffer traumatic brain injury.
Researchers at the University of Toronto published their findings this month in the American Journal of Sports Medicine. They studied records and videos from 844 bouts, and found that nearly 13% ended in knock-outs, while 21% ended in technical knock-outs – usually after a combatant was hit between 5 and 10 times in the head before the fight was stopped. There was one “concussion-like injury” in 32% of the bouts.
“This draws attention to the fact that relevant questions need to be asked of a sport for which the objective at some level is to knock them out,” said Michael Hutchison, a U of T kinesiology professor and lead author. “The [knocked out] person is rendered unable to defend themselves, and then they’re getting multiple strikes to their head. That’s probably not good for one’s health.”
The study reported that MMA traumatic brain injury rates outpace those of football or hockey – two sports that have seen litigation around traumatic brain injury in recent years.
Before this study, little empirical research had been conducted on the safety of mixed martial arts fighting. However, many critics argue against legalizing the sport, and some states, like New York state, have refused to legalize it due to violence and lack of safety equipment like helmets for players.
Other recent studies into traumatic brain injury suggest that even mild untreated concussions can cause problems later in life, such as dementia, encephalopathy, and depression. One recent study , led by a team of British researchers and based on four decades of research on traumatic brain injury patients in Sweden, defines “premature death” as dying before the age of 56. The study showed that patients who survived the short-term effects of traumatic brain injury were more likely to die years later, from suicide or another accident.
The NFL recently offered a settlement in their traumatic brain injury litigation, offering former players almost $765 million. However, the federal judge overseeing the litigation rejected the settlement offer, because she believed that the amount was not enough to help players treat their chronic injuries.
The Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys at the Strom Law Firm
All kinds of accidents can cause traumatic brain injury. Some of the most common are automobile accidents, work accidents, or defective products. For many victims, traumatic brain injury is not immediately noticeable. According to statistics from the CDC, 1.7 million people suffer traumatic brain injury every year, and 52,000 of those sufferers die from complications.
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury due to an automobile accident or a defective product, it is not too late to get help. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm offer free consultations to discuss the incident that led to traumatic brain injury and determine if you have a personal injury case. Contact us today. 803.252.4800.