Did boxing damage suspected Boston bomber’s brain?


HERE‘s an interesting theory regarding Tamerlan Tsarnaev (pictured above getting punched by a rival boxer):

Tamerlan Tsarnaev is telling no tales. The older of the two brothers who committed the Boston Marathon bombings was likely the one who planned the attack, but when he died in a shootout with police just days after the blasts, his thoughts and motivations vanished with him. But the brain that was home to his angry mind remains, and in this case that may mean something.

Tsarnaev was an amateur boxer who won the New England Golden Gloves competition as recently as 2009 and 2010. That speaks to a young man with a healthy sense of discipline and focus, and if he had a violent streak, it was violence well-channeled. But his sport of choice suggests the possibility of something else too: traumatic brain injury. As the National Football League and other pro sports increasingly reckon with the early dementia, mental health issues, suicides and even criminal behavior of former players, the risk of what’s known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), is becoming clear. Roughly 4,000 former NFL players and 2,000 of their spouses are currently suing the league, claiming that the perils of head injuries were never explained to them and, indeed, that the players were pushed to get back on the field even when it was clear that they had suffered concussions.

It was inevitable, then that questions would be raised about  whether Tsarnaev’s brain may have been similarly traumatized during the years he boxed, and if there had indeed been damage, did that spark his murderous behavior? The answer is a likely yes to the first part and a likely no to the second.


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