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Surgeons study traumatic brain injuries… in Asterix comics

A group of German doctors have studied all 704 cases of head injuries in 34 books. They’ve concluded that losing a helmet can mean a big headache!

Asterix and Obelix
Asterix and Obelix

A GROUP OF German brain surgeons has carried out a detailed analysis of violent injuries suffered by characters in the Asteric comic books.

The doctors have identified 704 head injuries throughout the 34 books and published their findings in the European Journal of Neurosurgery.

Asterix himself and his sidekick Obelix were responsible for carrying out more that half of the wounds, reports The Telegraph, while the Romans caused just 32 of the head injuries.

The BBC reports that the surgeons stated that while the study wasn’t entirely serious, it still gave rise to an opportunity to analyse the past. The study found that the injuries sustained in the comics often mirrored reality, although the doctors said that feeding the Romans a magic potion often seemed to soften the after-effects of a blow to the head. The surgeons concluded that:

Roman nationality, hypoglossal paresis, lost helmet, and ingestion of the magic potion were significantly correlated with severe initial impairment of consciousness

Luckily for the Romans, reports The Guardian, none of the injuries resulted in death or permanent damage, with symptoms improving within minutes or hours.

Read more: Traumatic brain injuries in illustrated literature – experience from a series of over 700 head injuries in the Asterix comic books (subscription may be required)>

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About the author:

Emer McLysaght

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