Bob Probert knew the fierce pounding he dished out and received over 16 seasons as an NHL enforcer was taking its toll as he got older. That's why he wanted his brain to be analyzed once he died. Even though heart failure ultimately ended his life last July at age 45, Probert also was living with a damaged brain. Researchers at Boston University said Thursday that Probert had the degenerative brain disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. The disease was found through analysis of brain tissue donated by Probert.
He is the second hockey player from the program at the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy to be diagnosed with the disease after death. Reggie Fleming, a 1960s enforcer who played before helmets became mandatory, also had CTE.
CSTE is a collaboration between Boston University Medical School and the Sports Legacy Institute that is attempting to address what it calls the "concussion crisis" in sports. The group has been at the forefront of research into head trauma in sports, and has received a $1 million gift from the NFL, which it has pushed for better treatment of concussions.
The family of former Bears safety Dave Duerson agreed to donate his brain to the study after he committed suicide last month at the age of 50.
During his years as one of the most feared players in the NHL, Probert had 3,300 penalty minutes — fifth on the league's career list. He was the toughest and most prolific fighter of his time. Probert, who struggled to overcome drinking problems during his time in the NHL, played for the Detroit Red Wings from 1985-94 and the Chicago Blackhawks from 1995-2002.
"We are only beginning to appreciate the consequences of brain trauma in sports," said Chris Nowinski, the Sports Legacy Institute's co-founder and chief executive officer. "Early evidence indicates that the historical decision not to discourage contact to the head was an enormous mistake, and we hope aggressive changes continue to be made to protect athletes, especially at the youth level." Read More
An important research study below centers on fatal cardiac injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents. It's important to note that fractured sternum in a driver can occur even while wearing a seat belt.
Article Date: 10 Dec 2010 - 17:00 PST
" Many wonder that if 30 million say they have driven while drunk, what might the true figure be. 10 million US adults admit to driving while under the influence of illegal drugs. According to SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) drink driving rates in some states exceeded 20%.
SAMHSA statistics indicate that 13.2% of Americans aged at least 16 years drove under the influence of alcohol over the last 12 months, and 4.3% did so while intoxicated with illegal drugs during the same period.
The report authors say variations from state-to-state are considerable. While states with the highest percentages of drunk driving include Wisconsin 23.7%, and North Dakota 22.4%, those with elevated drugged driving rates were led by Rhode Island 7.8% and Vermont 6.6%.
Utah and Mississippi have the lowest drunk driving rates in the USA. . .
SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D., said:
"According to one study, driving distracted kills 5,500 people in car and truck accidents every year in this country. Don't let the title of this blog fool you. It is beyond dispute that texting while driving is a growing part of this problem. The Baltimore Sun reports that 25% of teenaged drivers admit to texting while driving a car, and almost half say they've been in cars with someone who sent text messages. But kids are not the only problem. Adults that rolled their eyes at texting just a few years ago are now textaholics who read and write text messages while driving. The phenomenon is causing serious injuries and deaths on our nation's highway. And the perpetrators are not degenerate criminals but people just like you." Read More
Date of Article: Thursday, 12 August 2010
BLOOMINGTON, Ill., Aug. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- "The extreme heat experienced in communities across the U.S. makes conditions ripe for vehicle fires. State Farm reminds car owners to be vigilant and have their autos inspected and properly maintained during severe hot weather."
"Nobody wants to be that person standing by the side of the road watching helplessly as their car is engulfed in flames. And the very hot conditions across the country increase the chance of a vehicle fire—especially in older models," said Tom Hollenstain, research administrator at the State Farm Vehicle Research Facility. "But if you keep your car in good operating condition, you'll do a lot to help avoid that danger."
"The National Fire Protection Association® says most highway vehicle fires occur in the months of July and August on Friday afternoons. This report also cited mechanical or electrical failure (leaks, breaks, worn-out parts) as causing approximately 49 percent of U.S. highway vehicle fires."
"To lessen the likelihood of a highway vehicle fire, State Farm recommends the following car care tips:
•Engine Coolant – Maintaining the coolant at the proper level is vital during hot summer weather. Refer to the vehicle's owner's manual for additional instruction or consult with an automotive technician. Never remove the engine's coolant cap if the vehicle has been in operation.
•Engine Oil Level – Motor oil is the life blood of the engine. It not only provides lubrication, it also assists in engine cooling. Maintaining the oil level at the proper range will reduce the chances of engine damage or failure.
•Belts & Hoses – During hot weather, additional stress is placed on the engine's belts and hoses. Gaskets and seals may leak, hoses might deteriorate, and belts could become brittle causing oil consumption to increase. A failed hose or broken belt may cause the engine to overheat. Before turning on the engine, inspect the belts and hoses for unusual wear and cracks.
•Keep it Clean -- Have the engine degreased to cut down on the buildup of oil and grease.
•Slow and Easy – All vehicles should be driven easier during hot weather. If there is a heat advisory, motorists should try to avoid heavy traffic, idling, high speeds and aggressive driving, all of which contribute to the vehicle's engine overheating."
For additional information contact Aymee Zubizarreta, State Farm Public Affairs, at email@example.com or 786.897.7208.
by Raymond Foster, LAPD
"NLECTC-Rocky Mountain will once again offer sessions of "Crash Scene Technologies," a free week-long course that mixes classroom presentations with hands-on exercises and is designed for experienced crash scene investigators dealing with major accidents. It presents a broad spectrum of technologies without promoting specific products and covers three basic areas:
Mapping technology, including tools that capture data on the scene, and computer-aided drafting or mapping software that diagrams the scene; Black box technology, including a field trip to a salvage yard to extract data from a black box onboard a wrecked vehicle; Depending on the manufacturer, the black box yields such information as how many people were in the car, how fast it was going on impact and whether or not the seatbelts were buckled; and, Reconstruction management and calculation software that performs the calculations and analysis of field data."
Sessions are being offered at:
Lakewood (Colo.) Police Department May 11-14;
Las Cruces (N.M.) Police Department, June 15-18;
Topeka (Kan.) Police Department, August 3-6.
For more information, contact Mandy Jones at NLECTC-Rocky Mountain, (800) 416-8086, or Mandy.Jones@du.edu
From The Moderator:
Readers may wonder why sleep apnea related topics may appear in a forensics blog. The reason is that sleep apnea creates significantly increased risk of traffic accidents, particularly among commercial drivers who commonly drive for long hours at a time. Accident investigation is but another field using forensic investigation techniques to determine those at risk and those at fault in motor vehicle accidents.
Sleep Apnea Linked To Insulin Resistance, Independent Of Obesity:
In a study that addressed the issue of insulin sensitivity with respect to sleep disordered breathing (SDB), Naresh Punjabi, M.D., Ph.D. sought to examine the relationship between SDB and insulin resistance using the best tools at his disposal to do so.
The results definitively link SDB to pre-diabetic changes in insulin production and glucose metabolism. It was published in the first issue for February of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, published by the American Thoracic Society.
"In the past researchers have used body mass index, or BMI, as a proxy measure for body fat, but we know this to be a variable and crude tool to assess the true percentage of body fat," said Dr. Punjabi. "In addition, previous studies have used surrogate measurements to assess the body's response to insulin without investigating the interaction that occurs between reduced insulin sensitivity and increased insulin production in the body." ...
"Our major finding was that, as we suspected, SDB was strongly associated with a decrease in the three major metabolic pathways that the body uses to metabolize glucose - insulin sensitivity, glucose effectiveness, and pancreatic cell function - independent of adiposity," said Dr. Punjabi. "What our research tells us is that SDB is characterized by multiple physiological deficits that increase the predisposition for type 2 diabetes mellitus."
Sleep Apnea linked to the Progression of Liver Disease
In another study published in the same issue of the Journal, other researchers from Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center Bariatric Surgery Clinic found that the chronic intermittent hypoxia that often characterizes OSA, a common form of SDB, is also independently linked to the progression of liver disease.
Certified Forensics Nurse Examiner and Independent Consultant