A montage of Sterling Marlin, a micrograph of a motor neuron, the Parkinson's Disease tulip and the #14 Late Model

Sterling Marlin, Parkinson’s and Deep Brain Stimulation

Sterling Marlin, one of only three drivers to ever win the Daytona 500 two years in a row, announced that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2012. Last week, Marlin’s team announced that he was undergoing surgery to implant a deep brain stimulation (DBS) device to treat his Parkinson’s.

A Blood Test for Concussions is on the Horizon

Why We Need Better Tests for Concussions Ken Willis wrote a wonderful series of articles in the Daytona Beach News-Journal entitled NASCAR and Concussions: An Old Problem, a New Concern. He starts with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., but touches on the long history of drivers now suffering the effects of hard…

Safety vs. Speed: 2017 Changes to the Chassis

The Evolution of the Stock Car ADDITION: If you are more comfortable with Portuguese, check out this translation by Artur Weber and Adelina Domingos – and thanks to them for being interested enough in my work to do the tough job of translation. While many fans decried the look of…

Driving Concussed

Driving Concussed This week brings the return of Jeff Gordon to the track, but under conditions I’m sure all of us wish were otherwise. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is out again (and will be next week) with “concussion-like” symptoms. Concussion, like many medical problems, is a chronic injury — meaning that it can…

NASCAR’s Concussion Policy

Concussions were big news in a week where no one actually got one. NASCAR announced a new policy on concussions :  Starting in 2014, all drivers will be required to have a baseline test at the start of the season.  NASCAR will be using the ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment Test)…

NASCAR Concussions II: A Screening Test to Avoid Relying Entirely on the Driver

I was lucky enough to speak with Dr. Mark Lovell, an innovator in neurocognitive testing inbetween talks at a conference he was attending. Dr. Lovell came to my attention as the developer of the ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment Testing) test, which was one of the tools used to evaluate Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s concussion.

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