from research to real life – brain injury and Parkinson’s

Recently, there has been lots of talk about head injuries and neurodegenerative diseases…

In September 2012, a study was published stating professional football players at 3 times more likely to develop neurodegenerative diseases than the general population (from CNN). 3 players from the 334 included in this study were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, though this was not significantly different than the average population. The NFL took action by donating $30mil to National Institute of Health for brain injury research (link HERE!).

NFL hall of famer Forrest Gregg reveals battle with Parkinson’s disease
(Mark Lyons, Getty Images Sport)

… In other football news, the longest serving member of the Edmonton Eskimos, Dwayne Mandrusiak – who has been their equipment manager for 42 seasons (!!) announced he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in August. The following link shares his story of how he was diagnosed (approached by team physicians), who he is leaning on for support, his symptoms right now (rigidity) and how he is determined to not let PD stop him!  Check out the inspiring read HERE!

Dwayne Mandrusiak, equipment manager for the Edmonton Eskimos, diagnosed with PD Aug 2012 (

I thought I would mention (see previous info here!) about some of the latest Parkinson’s research…

The main idea: Participants with PD were twice as likely as those without PD to report having had a head injury in which they lost consciousness for more than five minutes. This risk was increased if the participant was exposed to paraquat (i.e. live <500m). The trauma from the brain injury may leave brain cells more vulnerable to the exposure of other environmental toxins – creating more damage (i.e. combination of multiple risk factors)

Research: Tramatic Brain Injury, Paraquat Exposure and their Relationship to Parkinson’s disease (Neurology, 2012)


and remember, safe is sexy!…. wear a helmet. much love.

P.S. interested in occupation and risk for Parkinson’s? Read more HERE!

0 thoughts on “from research to real life – brain injury and Parkinson’s

  1. Pingback: (more) professional athletes with Parkinson’s… an ongoing discussion | kaitlyn roland

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