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Headbanging to Heavy Metal Music Linked To Man's Brain Bleed

Practice is occasionally implicated in whiplash, blood vessel tears, researchers noted

FRIDAY, July 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Headbanging to rock music may be bad for your brain, a new study warns.

German doctors recently diagnosed the first case of bleeding in the brain that might have been caused by headbanging at a rock concert.

A 50-year-old man went to the doctor because of a constant headache that was getting worse. He'd had the headache for two weeks, his doctors said.

The man mentioned that he had been headbanging at a Motorhead concert about a month earlier. Headbanging is a forceful and rhythmic movement of the head in beat with fast rock tunes. Motorhead is a heavy metal band known for extremely high tempo music.

A CT scan revealed that the man had a blood clot on the right side of his brain. He had surgery to remove the blood clot and his headache went away. A follow-up examination two months later revealed he was doing well.

The man's blood clot may have been the result of brain bleeding (chronic subdural hematoma) triggered by headbanging at the Motorhead concert, although a cause-and-effect link between the two was not proven, according to the authors of the study in the July 5 issue of The Lancet.

The doctors said this is the first reported case showing evidence that headbanging might cause brain bleeding. Previously reported headbanging-related injuries include whiplash, neck fractures and tearing of the neck arteries.

"Even though there are only a few documented cases of subdural hematomas, the incidence may be higher because the symptoms of this type of brain injury are often clinically silent or cause only mild headache that resolves spontaneously," study author Dr. Ariyan Pirayesh Islamian, said in a journal news release.

"This case serves as evidence in support of Motorhead's reputation as one of the most hardcore rock 'n' roll acts on earth, if nothing else because of their music's contagious speed drive and the hazardous potential for headbanging fans to suffer brain injury," noted Pirayesh.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about chronic subdural hematoma (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000781.htm ).

SOURCE: The Lancet, news release, July 3, 2014