It seems crazy to me that we’re debating whether or not to let MMA fighters take testosterone. But here we are. Several of the big names in MMA have come out and not only admitted they take it, but will continue to take it because they have prescriptions from their doctor. So I guess a big question here is if those prescriptions are bogus. Past evidence says probably. But here’s the other side of the coin:
According to Catlin along with many other critics, the possibility of professional athletes in their 30s needing TRT is so low, it’s almost completely zero.
But new research might show those long-held beliefs to be incorrect.
The science of brain injury is still relatively new, and developing rapidly. In 2007, a paper published in the Journal of Athletic Training reported the first known connection between mild concussions and hypopituitarism, a deficiency that can lead to low testosterone.
That research, along with how traumatic brain injuries impact the pituitary gland, is being continued by Dr. Daniel F. Kelly, the director of the Brain Center and Pituitary Disorders Program at the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California.
Kelly is currently in the midst of a study of 75 former NFL players that is expected to be published around the end of 2012. In an interview with MMA Fighting, Kelly said that preliminary data from the study suggests that pituitary damage is occurring in a subset of the retirees.
That study seems to corroborate a 2006 finding in Turkey that found that head injuries incurred by pro kickboxers have resulted in damage to the pituitary gland.
Well crap. Not only are they noticing new forms of brain damage, it could be a specific side effect of competing in MMA for years. Maybe suggesting fighters stop fighting when that kind of head trauma is present. They’re free to take testosterone if they want … once they’re no longer competing.