[SportMed] SPORTS MEDICINE : SPORTS INJURIES : SPORTS: FOOTBALL : MEDICAL RESEARCH: Football Hits Could Lead to Hypertension, Worsening Concussions, GRU Researchers Say

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SPORTS MEDICINE :

SPORTS INJURIES :

SPORTS: FOOTBALL :

MEDICAL RESEARCH:

Football Hits Could Lead to Hypertension,
Worsening Concussions, GRU Researchers Say

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Football Hits Could Lead to Hypertension,
Worsening Concussions, GRU Researchers Say

By Tom Corwin

Staff Writer

Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015

The Augusta Chronicle

http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/health/2015-09-05/
football-hits-could-lead-hypertension-worsening-
concussions-gru-researchers

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/qjyp8yy

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Though ligament tears and broken bones are well-known, all of those violent hits football players take could be leading to hypertension and potentially chronic and traumatic brain injuries, researchers at Georgia Regents University say.

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They hope players at the University of Georgia will help them prove it.

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It is well-established that many football players, particularly beefy linemen, suffer from hypertension during the season, and it was thought that the fact that many are overweight or have other risk factors such as high cholesterol were contributing factors, said GRU graduate student Cameron McCarthy. But that seems to go away in the offseason, so those attributes might not be the cause, said Dr. Clinton Webb, the chairman of GRUs Department of Physiology.

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The compelling thing to me is their obesity and size doesnt go away in the offseason but the blood pressure goes down, he said. There seems to be a factor that is related to the games themselves.

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The GRU team focused its attention on what are called damage-associated molecular patterns, which would be released during violent hits. The NFL estimates that linemen receive 100 to 130 hits per game, Webb said. The damage to cells releases those factors, which then activate other factors and receptors well known for being involved in inflammation.

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Those receptors are on blood vessel cells and immune cells as well, according to the GRU study. They have been shown to be involved in inflammation in the brain, where concussions and their long-term consequences are already a concern for football players. One devastating outcome could be chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, which leads to widespread brain damage and for many former players memory loss, confusion, behavioral changes and dementia.

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I definitely think, related to the concussions, that hypertension during the season could make their CTE prognosis worse, McCarthy said. Or those factors might contribute to conditions that would lead to that chronic traumatic damage on their own, he said.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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[SportMed] SPORTS MEDICINE : SPORTS INJURIES : SPORTS: FOOTBALL : MEDICAL RESEARCH: Football Hits Could Lead to Hypertension, Worsening Concussions, GRU Researchers Say

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