Scientists at the Technical University Munich are questioning if boxing can cause severe damage to a player's brain.
20 percent of professional boxers develop neuropsychiatric sequelae. The study, which evaluated boxers' health in the past 10 years yielded the following results:
The most relevant acute consequence is the knock-out, which is related to cerebral concussion.
They are also at a high risk for acute injuries to the head, heart, and skeleton. Subacute consequences after being knocked out include persistent symptoms such as headaches, impaired hearing, nausea, unstable gait, and forgetfulness.
And repeated cerebral trauma may result in boxer's dementia - similar to Alzheimer's.
With regard to the health risks, a clear difference exists between professional boxing and amateur boxing.
While amateurs undergo regular examinations and in advance of boxing matches, and in advance of boxing matches while professionals subject themselves to their fights without such protective measures.
In view of the risk for injuries that may result in impaired cerebral performance in the short or long term, similar measures would be advisable in the professional setting too.
The study appears in the current issue of Deutsches Arzteblatt International (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2010.