Headbanging caused brain bleed in Motorhead fan
LONDON — It may not destroy your soul, but it turns out heavy metal music can be hazardous to your brain. At least in some rare cases.
German doctors say they have treated a Motorhead fan whose headbanging habit ultimately led to a brain injury, but that the risk to metal fans in general is so small they don't need to give up the shaking.
Last January, doctors at Hannover Medical School saw a 50-year-old man who complained of constant, worsening headaches. The patient, who was not identified, had no history of head injuries or substance abuse problems but said he had been headbanging regularly for years — most recently at a Motorhead concert he attended with his son.
After a scan, doctors discovered their patient had a brain bleed and needed a hole drilled into his brain to drain the blood. The patient's headaches soon disappeared. In a follow-up scan, the doctors saw he had a benign cyst which might have made the metal aficionado more vulnerable to a brain injury.
“We are not against headbanging,” said Dr. Ariyan Pirayesh Islamian, one of the doctors who treated the man. “The risk of injury is very, very low. But I think if (our patient) had (gone) to a classical concert, this would not have happened.”
Islamian said the violent shaking of the head in headbanging can sometimes be enough to cause damage as the brain bumps up against the skull and noted a handful of previous injuries, also in heavy metal fans. The latest case was described in a report published online Friday in the journal Lancet.
Motorhead is a British metal band known for helping create the “speed metal” genre, which inspires extremely fast headbanging. Islamian described the band as “one of the most hard-core rock 'n' roll acts on earth.”
Doctors said headbangers shouldn't be discouraged from enjoying their favorite bands.
“There are probably other higher risk events going on at rock concerts than headbanging,” noted Dr. Colin Shieff, a neurosurgeon and trustee of the British brain injury advocacy group Headway. “Most people who go to music festivals and jump up and down while shaking their heads don't end up in the hands of a neurosurgeon.”
Islamian agreed heavy metal fans shouldn't necessarily skip the headbanging.
“Rock 'n' roll will never die,” he said. “Heavy metal fans should rock on.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Steelers will make small strides this season
- Starkey: Bucs still battlin’
- Not to be left behind, speedy Steelers are on the fast track in NFL
- Steelers have plenty of new faces at wide receiver
- Why Steelers will — or won’t — snap out of their funk
- WPIAL coaches, QBs have concerns about using newly-approved footballs
- In last preseason game, a final audition for some Steelers
- Wounded man found in store parking lot in North Side
- Pitt coordinator House rebuilds defense with depth
- Freshman Jaden Dietz will start at cornerback for Southmoreland
- Newsmaker: George J. Zimmerman