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tv   Washington Journal Ira Boudway Discusses Concussion Technology and the NFL  CSPAN  April 8, 2017 10:31pm-11:01pm EDT

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family information, information about your children. people born except that internet service providers are not strictly using this data to make money for themselves. >> now a discussion on new to detect designed concussions and what that could mean for the national football league. from "washington journal," this is 30 minutes. welcome back. in today's spotlight on talking about a ecent piece about emerging technologies designed to detect oncussions and cte and what that means for the nfl. how are con suggestions
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football? detected in guest: they are a subjective meaning you have clinicians trained to spot the symptoms. checklist. used.ard ones that are but re pretty good at it it's problematic because sometimes you don't see the event. i think when we think about it context, you see the hit and you kind of know that guilt or innocence got hit in you talk about emergency room doctors people ome in that look like maybe a concussion but they don't
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remember what happened or are not reliable in their account of what happened. they hit their head and maybe not and it's sometimes hard to distinguish between head other problems. so clinicians both for sports of it are really objective test for the condition for head trauma a t: and it can lead to progressive degenerative brain disease called cte. tell us about that guest: that's a disease that happens over time. we're just really learning about it. first diagnosed in a football player in mike webster only diagnosed after death because you have to utopsy basically they take slivers of the brain and look for the signs of the disease and t's a disease that looks a lot like alzheimer's in terms of symptoms. there's dementia. it gets worse over time. it's progressive. it's there a long time before it shows up.
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so eventually it can lead to suicide. t's a terrible disease that is repetitive head
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trauma. i focused on is a company called quanterics and have a way to test blood for proteins in small quantities to detect things like head trauma. they also use it for cancer research, for alzheimer's research. it has a wide variety of uses. cte you're ase of looking for a particular protein part of the make up of our brain. way that he passage neurons take as our brain cells one ending messages to
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another. when you have cte it falls off sits on thway that it and that chokes the brain in essence. makes it hard for the neurons to pathways.s the and so what they are looking for s that getting into blood and seeing if they can locate it in the blood. the problem is that we have a and this is arrier useful because it keeps infections out of our brain but really hard it's to do tests for neurological conditions, brain problems. it's hard to know what's going brain.the
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they've developed a blood test much, measure microphone sensitive than the traditional method allowing them see correlations between people who have and ssions or head trauma increased levels of this tao in the blood. for concussions, they're already along toward the idea of a finger prick blood test that could say this person a concussion. for cte it's a little tricky. you is not something where saw the hit and you test hours later or a day later. condition that is stable in the brain and it's deteriorating inside the brain. it's unclear how much is getting across the barrier. what to look for and whether we the blood. in approach.e
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i did my best to learn about but i can only get
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so deep with it but it's thatally a piece of a cell is sort of shed from it but what's great about it is that came ell you where it from. so if you find it in the blood you can guess it came from the certain.t you're not whereas if you find it, it has information in it about what the source cell was. brain say this was a cell. and there's a tao related one and they have isolated they're starting to find former nfl players and testing them and say they have elevated levels of this compared to the general looking n and they're to expand those kinds of tests. the leading expert in this i bob stern who is a neurologist at boston university cte center ave this and they're embarked on a even-year study to try to figure out if they can diagnose cte in living people. things ng all of these to see if maybe there's a battery of tests that if thank you put them together and start maybe a blood screen it
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shows elevated levels and you move on to a brain scan. know, do a pet scan. maybe you can figure out a way to find the disease in the living. one of those companies will have the answer or maybe it a buncha combination of of them or even a method that we don't know about yet. >> we're talking about a recent wrote about the professional parts particularly the nfl and concussion technology. to hear from you. e're splitting the phones up region.y
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leagueyer safety and the looks at them and awards them one grand and then they've down the finalists. so it has 8 hundred thousand this s from it will nfl way and they have also the about has talked publicly the possibility of a concussion blood test and what a break through that would be. league is unequivocally excited about the blood test ncussion just because it would solve a lot of controversy. concussion the protocol. is a player ready or not. this would basically eliminate a
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lot of that question. t would say this player's biomarkers show they're not safe to play or they are. idea.e excited about that i think the question of cte is a lot trickier for the nfl if you history of it starting with mike webster, if movie of n the concussion which is a good book to understand the checkered of the nfl when it comes to head trauma. there was a period there of at least five years where the seemed to be trying to the the waters, question emerging science to deny the
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host: we have loop on the line calling in from highland park. er: my basic question is -- why does everyone in america have to pay high premiums for health care to people who take on extremely high risk behaviors? that is my question. guest: i think in the nfl, their health insurance comes through the nfl, and the league has gotten better providing that just to current players but to former players through negotiated deals with the union health insurance to cover these kinds of conditions. the nfl is an extreme case. we a lot about head trauma with nfl players, but there are not that many of them.
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the bigger question is when you talk about you have a whole bunch of military personnel who suffer repeated head trauma. you have people just in the maybe who have taken blows from an accident or something else and maybe it is hard to detect what is going on with them. the research into this will have benefits outside the nfl, and the expense that is being spent now to learn about the disease and advanced the science around it will rebound the benefits, not just nfl players. we tend to talk about it there because it's very public and everybody knows the nfl, but it is a pop -- a problem that stretches across much broader populations. host: andrew was on the line -- sandra is on the line calling from massachusetts. good morning. caller: i've had three grandchildren, and two are dead right now. the third one had repeated
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outbursts and everything else of his lifet times after he played pop warner football. they constantly were clanking heads, running down the field. all of them. brotthey're all all of them. they were all brothers. and two of them are dead. go ahead, stressing cohead, bang your head. grandson was -- he thought the thing was delayed, whatever, on the high school field. this is awful. thank you. bye. guest: i'm sorry for your loss.
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you know, i think that when you and about concussions football, really where it is most urgent right now is with children. question about whether kids should be doing this at all. whether they should be putting on helmets. whether they should be playing full contact football and how soon. how early do you allow it. put on pads. attitudes the towards that have shifted considerably in the last five to en years as the cte has become something that a lot of people have heard of. there are good reasons to hold back. know. everybody i spoke with different neurolodge cal -- they have kids and would you let your kids play football. a lot of people said they still would because we don't know everything about the disease yet the would have recalled is a fundamentally unsafe place. riding get a concussion a bicycle.
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and they didn't want their kids to not have the opportunity to sports that that he love. i think there's the idea that a lot of people who research and cte hate ions football and want it to end. i there's a lot of people who love learning, toughness, discipline, comradery. they wanted their children to it.y so they were ambivalent about letting children play the sport. i think one of the things that does have to get better is detection. incidents like where somebody gets a concussion and it's back because they want to or nobody noticed. that's dangerous. as any organization i think a parent, grandparent, you want to be asking them what are the protocols. on the sideline watching. how are they trained. ake sure that these decisions are not being made by coaches and parents but by trained clinicians. the baseline for
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letting kids participate. and then i think we'll see as we learn more about the disease, both the will change way these decisions are made and how parents feel about it. think that's one of the problems with the league. over time, if parents basically sport is too is dangerous for my kid then you don't have a pipeline of players nfl or you have a pipeline that is narrow to a of parents and not others. trying very hard to have -- reach out to parents and to have initiatives that tackling and things like that but it's still a question of whether even if you heads up tackling, is there any safe way to play 12. game when you're i don't think anybody can answer that definitively right now. host: we invite you all to weigh this. any of
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we have a tweet here. is any of this new technology contact lied to other sports like hockey. i know from reading your article is.t it guest: yeah. i don't know specifically what's being done but certainly the advancing hat are this science are -- want to apply it broadly and a lot of at science has been looking for instance there's a researcher jessica gill at the research center down looked at and she university of rochester college athletes and found 46 who had concussed and studied their blood looking for this tao with quanterics technology and levels in your blood six hours after the impact predicted whether you would be on the field ck within ten days or not and that was for a lot of sports. researchers using
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quanterics for the longest started with boxers. researcher in sweden. he started with boxers. to hockey ved on players. there are studies that are military personnel. so they're definitely thinking use this out how to technology. i don't know, for instance, how and hl is approaching it whether they are welcoming the science in the way that the nfl be now. i haven't spent time reporting on that but there definitely is question for a lot of sports, hockey, you know, soccer with and head impact there. martial arts. e're already seeing what's happening now with football happen decades ago with boxing. discovered the disease and realized getting hit in the head over and over again was really damaging. these players long after the
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they were older. host: rod is calling in from california. good morning, rod. is there -- sort of following on that last question. done ore beenery search onnection made to differences between the sub con cussive blows? for sports like soccer where generally no head trauma long duration and then there's sort of one sharp impact versus, you know, the experience of an offensive lineman in where they have 40 or con cussicussive -- who have been diagnosed
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even that sease but is a -- not the best data because it's only the players pretty clearly had the disease by the symptoms attend of their life who are getting time so most of the it's a selective group of people. it doesn't tell us how wrong ead the disease is nfl players and we don't know hy some people get the disease and others don't. it seems clear that to wind up need repeated head trauma whether that's sub or concussions. but there are people who have don't get cte.
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and that's an unknown. why that happens. and, yeah, i think there's a lot of research to be done about what's the difference between it is about the intervals between hits that you get cte if constant low level blows and there's no time to recuperate whereas maybe you get cte if you have a spectacular concussion blow once or twice with a wide space in between. i don't know. nobody knows. they're starting to try to out maybe if it has to do with genes or nutrition but this all depends on being able to the disease in living people and to diagnose it with onfidence and reliability and then they can start to say these people got it. these people didn't. what are the differences between them. maybe how can we make the people getting the disease function like the people who aren't that's be the drug or some kind of other treatment or prevention. answer is i don't know of any research that is specifically on that question lot of nitely there's a
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attention being paid to sort of over time, impact how many impact and how that relates to the damage that we're to find in people. we have gerard calling in from wisconsin. good morning. good morning. i'm actually piggy backing off commenter because i remember i stopped watching nfl about a few years ago when of the things they were talking about is the -- has the of changed? esearch changed on determining the recovery time after a soon somebody how should be going out? that's don't think changed but what has changed
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second degree the application. the league has gotten more the ous about people on sidelines who can make that independence. the basic battery of questions symptoms that d you look for has been pretty well set. i think they continue to refine that really has not changed. it's been more about making sure the right s
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that is, i think, the tip of the spear for the league because i do not think there has been a lot of change in what we know about concussions from the outside by looking at symptoms and by having smart clinicians to do these examinations. they are pretty good at it now, pretty good at spotting concussions, especially, like i said, if they know the person had a head impact. host: the last call for this segment comes from michael calling in from miami, florida. good to be here. in regards to the discussion, i would like to contribute my own personal discussion. -- my own personal experience. i was 16 or 17, and i was the lead quarterback in high school. i suffered a concussion, but it's hard for me
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to remember all the details. host: i believe we lost michael there. the question i had for you, iraq, was if there is a federal role. we've seen roger goodell testify before congress. congress has inserted itself in the issues regarding professional sports. what is the role of congress, if cte and one, to cover issues regarding concussions? i think there is obviously the funding question. heavily.s contribute the question of forcing the league to do a better job. the league enjoys a sort of antitrust status and operates a quasi-monopoly and enjoys
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exemptions that are provided in federal law, so that is why you will see and have seen leaks they get extracted in front of congress for hearings because they have to answer to us and to the federal government around those things, and that is always the stress that is held. if you do not pay attention to player safety and health, if you try to cover up the problem, maybe we will take away those privileges, so that is that role, kind of a nuclear option, but that is why the league answers to the public around the strings, and i think that pressure has been really useful. it has been part of what raised awareness, and i think congress knows it has the opportunity to grill people under oath and get answers on the record and have everyone see it and see if the league is being forthright or not. it was a pretty big moment march of last year when the head of player safety was asked about the connection between neurological disease and
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football, and in the past, the league answer was always the ask ae is not out yet, scientist, we don't know. they would not answer directly. he said there is obviously clearly a link. least now acknowledging the problem, and i think that is the result of pressure that has come from media and from the government. boudway is a writer or "bloomberg businessweek." thank you for being with us. host -- guest: thank you. therein are: c-span, where .istory unfolds daily c-span was created by america's cable television companies and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. announcer: now a discussion on
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race in america and the post-obama era. then an encore presentation of "q&a" with heather mcghee. after that, a look at new technology that can diagnose concussions and what it could mean for the nfl. announcer: now a discussion on race in america and the post-obama era. we will hear from "wall street journal" editorial board member jason riley and "new york times" writer nikole hannah-jones. this is an hour and 20 minutes. >> good evening. i am not the nationally resound -- nationally renowned speaker that was previously introduced. i am proud to be your moderator for this conversation. two important caveats to our conversation. one is that our speakers have come to talk about a wide variety of views.


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