Tuesday, December 6, 2011


New York - Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain ailment related to Alzheimer’s disease that is caused by repeated blows to the head, the New York Times reported.  The 28-year-old Boogaard, who died in May of an accidental overdose of alcohol and oxycodone, was found to have had CTE - which can be diagnosed only after the death of the patient.  Such damage in someone as young as Boogaard was surprising. Symptoms of the condition include memory loss, impulsiveness, mood swings, and addiction. Prominent Toronto neurosurgeon Dr. Charles Tator says the news that scientists examining enforcer Derek Boogaard’s brain were shocked to see the extent of brain damage in a player so young is a warning sign the National Hockey League (NHL) - the professional ice hockey league - had better heed. 

The New York Times reported that Boogaard’s family was told last month he was sufferingly so badly from the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (C.T.E.) he would have likely suffered middle-age dementia had he lived.  The disease was more advanced in Boogaard than it was in famed enforcer Bob Probert, who died of heart failure in 2010 at 45.  Reggie Fleming, who was 73, and 59-year-old Rick Martin, were other hockey players who were found to have CTE.  Dr. Tator said this latest news was further evidence the culture of hockey needs changing.  “We’re ruining our great resources in hockey - and by that I mean star players,” said Tator, who heads up ThinkFirst, which is dedicated to preventing brain and spinal injuries in youth.  And at least for the foreseeable future, NHL players will still fight. There were five fights in the five NHL games played Monday night. The beat goes on.

“Why are we ruining the lives of these young people and putting a cloud over their future by allowing hits to the head? We need to reduce them. This new case is another reason to ratchet up the campaign against hits to the head,” Dr. Tator said.  More than 20 dead former NFL players and many boxers have had C.T.E. diagnosed. It generally hollowed out the final years of their lives into something unrecognizable to loved ones.  Undoubtedly, the culture of ice hockey, boxing and other violent sports needs to be changed; human life is too valuable to be wasted.
Human life is an opportunity to overcome ignorance and selfishness, and therefore it can not be put at risk. To take full advantage, you have to work through the methods provided by the sages. Currently, it is imposed the general idea that "You have to enjoy the world." But the concept of enjoyment is dangerous, self-destructive and, in turn, makes people risk their lives. ... When we serve the Supreme Truth, we can experience the maximum satisfaction of human life, because we experience ananda, which is the happiness that arises when dealing with topics of the soul. ... It is very important to rely on the wise and embrace this opportunity, taking away from the materialistic activities which only bring desolation. Wake up, sleeping soul, awake, this is the call that God does to human beings to developed and perfected spiritually.
Śrīla Bhakti Aloka Paramadvaiti Mahārāja :
“Dangerous Fun” - “Fictitious Happiness”

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