NHL Players face mental health risks


National Hockey League players face mental health risks. A study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry released an article which addressed the risk of mental health problems. In 33 retired NHL players, 59% had psychiatric disorders which included depression, anxiety and substance abuse. Dr. Brian Levine of the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Health Services in Toronto noted “high level behavioral, cognitive and emotional problems when compared with the control group. The control group was composed on individuals who were not professional athletes and did not have histories of concussions.

NeuroNotes has written about hockey players and concussive injuries over the past years, including a recent post about the NHL’s Commissioner denying the link between concussion and later-in-life problems. Approximately 100 retired hockey players have filed a lawsuit against the NHL seeking a similar settlement to what was arrived at for retired professional football players in the U.S..

As scientific evidence mounts the relationship between multiple concussions and psychiatric and neurological problems has become more certain.  Prevention of concussions coupled with a timely recognition or injury and initiating treatment are our most important strategies.

Click here to read the CBC story: http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/toronto/nhl-concussions-head-trauma-hockey-study-1.4071584

Key words: NHL players and concussions, Brian Levine, Rotman Research Institute, behavioral health problems and concussions, depression from concussions, anxiety and concussions, substance abuse and concussions, link between concussions and psychiatric disorders

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