Friday, April 13, 2012

Former boxer: Don't ignore concussions

Ray Ciancaglini, a former middleweight boxer struggling with a neurological disorder caused by blows to the head, will give a talk on the danger of concussions to athletes at Finger Lakes Community College on Tuesday, April 17.

His talk begins at 11 a.m. in Stage 14 on the second floor of the FLCC Student Center, 3325 Marvin Sands Drive, Canandaigua. Entry is free.

Ciancaglini, of Geneva, was an aspiring middleweight boxer in 1966-72 who showed promise of a successful career. Today he suffers from dementia pugilistica – also known as chronic traumatic encepahalopathy, pugilistic Parkinson’s syndrome, boxer's syndrome and punch drunk syndrome. It is a neurological disorder that affects career boxers and others who receive multiple blows to the head.

The condition develops over a period of years, with average onset of 16 years after the start of a career in boxing. Symptoms manifest as dementia, or a declining mental ability, Parkinson's-like tremors and a lack of coordination.

Now, Ciancaglini struggles to form complete thoughts. He has a hard time writing his own name, and some days, struggles to recognize lifelong friends. He will tell his story of the mistakes he made by not addressing concussions properly and the consequences he suffered as a result.

If a concussion is treated, no athlete should have to endure the life-altering ramifications Ciancaglini faces today. His goal is for athletes to understand the importance of addressing a concussion correctly and promptly and being honest about symptoms with coaching staff and trainers.

Ciancaglini’s talk is sponsored by the FLCC Department of Physical Education and Integrated Health Care. For more information, call (585) 785-1292.

No comments:

Post a Comment