Bonus: A historical look at brain injuries, CTE and the NFL


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As we are roughly halfway through Season 1, it feels like the perfect time to take a breath and give ourselves a bit of a history lesson on the issue of brain injuries and sports. So to that end, I’ve brought in an expert.

His name is Stephen Casper and he is a Professor of History at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York. Professor Casper has a PhD in the History of Medicine, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Biochemistry.


He is the author of multiple papers on the history of neuroscience, as well as an upcoming book on the cultural history of head injury titled “Punch Drunk and Dementia: A Modern History of Concussion, 1870–2012.”

He is also a retained expert for the plaintiffs in concussion litigation against the National Hockey League.

Here are some highlights from the interview:

— The scientific community has known about this connection much longer than you think.
 — How the rise of sports medicine led to a (wrong) perception that brain injury research is a new thing.
 — Whether some people might be genetically predisposed to getting CTE, and what that means.
 — Why every doctor associated with the NFL and NCAA has no excuse for being unaware of this history.

I hope you enjoy my conversation with Professor Casper and that you find the information as enlightening and fascinating as I did.

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