Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 3/7/13

While head injuries and repeated concussions are known to dramatically increase the likelihood of long-term cognitive injuries, the underlying cause of that long-term impairment is still being speculated upon. And one group of researchers thinks that it might be due to an immune response — which mean some injuries could be suppressed by something as simple as a pill. According to Popular Science magazine, Jeffrey Bazarian, a physician at the University of Rochester Medical Center, says jostling of the brain which doesn’t qualify as a concussion may trigger an autoimmune response that attacks the brain. A paper Bazarian recently co-authored found incidental evidence immune cells harm the brain, although it wasn’t set up to prove that thesis. The data “don’t really prove causality, so that’s why more work needs to be done, but I still think it’s provocative,” said Bazarian. However, it the theory did come to something, the implications for the treatment of brain injuries could amount to a quantum leap. “We could talk about, ‘How do we block this part of the immune response with some kind of immune suppressant?’” Bazarian’s theory revolves around a protein called S100B, which is often found in the brain in those who are known to have suffered head injuries. When S100B is introduced into the bloodstream the body also creates antibodies to attack the protein, which eventually may be introduced to the brain. However, Bazarian cautions that last part is just speculative and needs investigation. Other theories of the mechanism behind head injuries include actual damage to cells from hits, and the stress put on neurons during their repair by proteins.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

TCU extends Gary Patterson through 2024 season

Shohei Ohtani studies Bryce Harper video to improve his hitting

Chris Harris: Broncos need to get 'mind-control' over AFC West back

WATCH: Pat Narduzzi predicts Pitt upset win over Miami in halftime interview

Report: Florida moving on from Chip Kelly

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Derrick Rose considering his NBA future

Report: Mississippi St. set to go ‘all in’ to keep Dan Mullen

Eli Manning: Losing so much 'can wear you out'

Chargers have 'real concerns' about Mike Williams's knee?

Jerry Jones reiterates support for Jason Garrett

Jay Bilas: NCAA offered committee spot to silence him

The 'Profound mound of rebound' quiz

15 key questions for NFL Week 12

Raiders' fall from grace shows there's more work to be done

NFL Week 12 predictions

College football Week 13 predictions

The 'Getting a leg up on the competition' quiz

Biggest sports turkeys of 2017

What each NFL team should be grateful for this Thanksgiving

The '303 yards and a cloud of dust' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Kyrie Irving has unlimited range

Anthony Davis may never escape his biggest flaw

NFL MVP Watch: Carson Wentz stands tall among the pack

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

The 'Profound mound of rebound' quiz

Raiders' fall from grace shows there's more work to be done

The 'Getting a leg up on the competition' quiz

What each NFL team should be grateful for this Thanksgiving

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Kyrie Irving has unlimited range

The '303 yards and a cloud of dust' quiz

Anthony Davis may never escape his biggest flaw

NFL Week 12 predictions

NFL MVP Watch: Carson Wentz stands tall among the pack

The 'Greatest show on flat Earth' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker