No Link Between Amateur Boxing, Long-Term Brain Damage
FRIDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- There's no strong
evidence linking amateur boxing with long-term brain
injury, according to a team of sports doctors and
clinical academics who've reviewed 36 studies on the
Of those studies, 15 (42 percent) concluded that there
was some sign of boxing-related chronic brain injury
in at least some boxers. However, the quality of
evidence in these studies was poor, the review authors
noted. Of 17 better quality studies included in the
review, only four (24 percent) found any indication of
chronic brain injury in a minority of boxers.
Overall, studies that identified a possible link
between amateur boxing and long-term brain injury were
of poorer quality and design, said a team led by Dr.
Mike Loosemore of the Olympic Medical Institute at
Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow, U.K. Few of the
studies were of sufficient quality to conclude
anything other than a weak association, the
The review was published online Friday in the British
There is ongoing debate about the safety of amateur
boxing, which is growing in popularity, noted the
review authors, who said they did not seek to endorse
or oppose the sport.
In an accompanying editorial, University of Melbourne
neurologist and sports physician Paul McCrory
suggested that boxers now have shorter careers and
reduced exposure to repetitive head trauma, making it
less likely that they'll develop long-term brain
The American Association of Neurological Surgeons has
more about sports-related head injuries.