Scientists have taken to studying comic characters such as Asterix in order to understand the risk factors that underlie traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Brain surgeons in Germany analyzed 34 volumes of the famous Asterix and Obelix comics and co-related the result of biffing and bashing to real world symptoms such as head tilting to one side and tongue lolling out.
Advertisement"The goal of the present study was to analyze the epidemiology and specific risk factors of traumatic brain injury [TBI] in the Asterix illustrated comic books," the researchers wrote.
Dr Daniel Haenggi of the University of Duesseldorf told the BBC that it was important to analyze the past in order to understand the present.
"Among the 34 Asterix comic books analyzed, 704 cases of head or brain injury were identified," the researchers explained. "The vast majority of victims suffered repeated traumatic injuries in one or more comic books. Nearly all head-injured characters were male (99.1%; 698 males, six females) and adult."
Furthermore although these injuries were extensive, no permanent impairment is depicted, signifying that the magic potion contains drugs to heal these injuries. It appears that the magic potion contains mistletoe, which is composed of lectin that has been shown to be useful in brain tumors.
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