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Characters in Asterix comics suffered over 700 traumatic head injuries


June 16, 2011 - London

A new study by German researchers has concluded that characters in the Asterix comic books suffered traumatic brain injuries.

Researchers, led by Marcel Kamp at Heinrich Heine University in Dusseldorf, studied the 34 Asterix books and found 704 cases of traumatic brain injuries.

They found that many of those who were often left with an outstretched tongue or Amnesia but none appeared to die.

The academics had set out to 'analyse the epidemiology and specific risk factors of traumatic brain injury in the Asterix illustrated comic books'.

By 'screening' all 34 books, the authors found 704 cases of head or brain injury, all but six suffered by men, reports The Telegraph.

The victims were mostly Romans (450) but also included 120 Gauls, 59 bandits or pirates, 20 Goths, eight Vikings and five Britons. In 402 cases the perpetrators of the violence were Asterix and/or Obelix themselves.

In 696 cases "blunt force" was used but eight people were strangled and six suffered a fall.

More victims (390) suffered severe trauma than moderate (89) or mild (225), with the researchers using the standard Glasgow coma scale to assess the seriousness of their wounds.

About half (390) lost consciousness after being attacked and 188 were drawn with hypoglossal paresis, "an outstretched or sideward pointing tongue". Half also had periorbital ecchymoses or "raccoon eyes" and some had "sporadic Amnesia".

However the paper said: "No case of death or a permanent neurological deficit following traumatic brain injury has been found."

Most of those attacked were wearing helmets at the time but the "vast majority" lost this protective barrier "during the traumatic event".

The finding was published in the official journal of the European Association of Neurosurgical Socities, known as Acta Neurochirurgica.

ANI

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