A German heavy metal fan was found to have given himself a brain injury through years of vigorous head-banging. His most recent head-banging escapade took place at a Motörhead concert.
According to a study published this week in The Lancet, a medical journal, the 50-year-old metal fan sought help from doctors at Hannover Medical School after suffering constant, worsening headaches four weeks after a Motörhead show.
After taking a CT scan, the doctors found that the man, who had no history of head injuries and no substance-abuse problems, was bleeding on the right side of his brain.
From the Daily Beast: The doctors wrote in the study that "headbanging, with its brisk forward and backward acceleration and deceleration forces, led to rupturing of bridging veins causing haemorrhage…" and concluded that the case "serves as evidence in support of Motörhead’s reputation as one of the most hardcore rock’n’roll acts on earth, if nothing else because of their contagious speed drive and the hazardous potential for headbanging fans to suffer brain injury."
The man's headaches disappeared after doctors drilled a hole in his skull to drain the blood. Neurologists also found a benign cyst in his cranium that they say may have made him vulnerable to injury while headbanging. The Lancet study noted that there have been at least three other cases of brain bleeding caused by headbanging, one of them fatal.
"We are not against headbanging," Dr. Ariyan Pirayesh Islamian told the Associated Press. "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."