Bob Probert: Can His Brain Teach Us Anything About NHL Player Safety?
Bob Probert's Brain Study Reveals Degenerative Brain Condition, But Does it Teach Us Anything About NHL Safety?
The study of longtime NHL enforcer/brawler Bob Probert's brain was released earlier this week, and the results showed us what many expected: that one of the league's most notorious fighters indeed suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain condition that has been frequently seen amongst former NFL players, and another NHL enforcer, Reggie Fleming.
But, while Probert's widow thinks hockey caused his neurological issues, according to the New York Times, it's hard to draw that conclusion from the study itself.
After all, while Probert battled opponents on the ice, he also battled substance abuse issues off of it, and it's still unclear how much it affected his brain on top of the brawling.
That's not to say we can't say some of Probert's damage can be attributed to hockey; after all, it's a violent sport, and Probert was one of it's most brutal enforcers.
However, we can't base any kind of definitive conclusions on the neurological dangers of hockey off of Probert's brain, because he was such a unique case.
Probert is certainly cause for concern, and the results from his study do show that more data is definitely needed. But, in the end, it's hard to say for sure what caused what in this infamous enforcer's case.
For more NHL news, check out NHL Trade Deadline 2011: Ranking Every Team's Playoff Chances After the Deadline.
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