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Article
October 13, 1928

PUNCH DRUNK

Author Affiliations

NEWARK, N. J.

From the pathologic department of the City Hospital, and the office of the chief medical examiner of Essex County, N. J.

JAMA. 1928;91(15):1103-1107. doi:10.1001/jama.1928.02700150029009
Abstract

For some time fight fans and promoters have recognized a peculiar condition occurring among prize fighters which, in ring parlance, they speak of as "punch drunk." Fighters in whom the early symptoms are well recognized are said by the fans to be "cuckoo," "goofy," "cutting paper dolls," or "slug nutty."

Punch drunk most often affects fighters of the slugging type, who are usually poor boxers and who take considerable head punishment, seeking only to land a knockout blow. It is also common in second rate fighters used for training purposes, who may be knocked down several times a day. Frequently it takes a fighter from one to two hours to recover from a severe blow to the head or jaw. In some cases consciousness may be lost for a considerable period of time.

The early symptoms of punch drunk usually appear in the extremities. There may be only an occasional

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