Episode 91 : Visar Berisha On Pro Football & Brain Injury

Featured Guest: Visar Berisha

  • Jan 29, 2019

It’s Super Bowl week, so it’s time to discuss Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in NFL players. Visar Berisha is an Associate Professor of Engineering at Arizona State University, focusing on speech and hearing science. He and his team completed an amazing study looking at changes in language complexity in NFL players. We discuss the study, it’s findings, and the extraordinary potential for this work in neurodegenerative disease.

Key Learnings
1. The cloud that hangs over the National Football League
2. Looking at neurological health and searching for biomarkers of cognitive decline through the complexity of speech generation
3. Creating a philosophy of lab as incubator for multidisciplinary neurodegenerative disease
5. The two key markers: vocabulary size and idea density, what should happen over time, and what the study demonstrates happened to the NFL players.  (The study even looks at impact on language of number of times an NFL quarterback is sacked)
6. The findings…
7. Response to the paper since publication
8. Using these tools both as a predictive model for CTE and a return-to-play modality for concussion
9. Ongoing study with the NCAA and outreach from former NFL players
10. What comes next with this study template across multiple disease processes
11. How Dr. Berisha and I connected in the first place
The study in “Brain and Language:” https://auralanalytics.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Longitudinal-changes-in-linguistic-complexity-among-professional-football-players.pdf
The New York Times article:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/29/health/cte-brain-inuries-football.html
Dr. Berisha’s website: http://www.public.asu.edu/~visar/
#CTE, #NFL, #SuperBowl, #chronictraumaticencephalopathy, #language, #neurodegenerative, #concussion, #science, #football
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