A team of researchers from the Department for Neurosurgery of Heinrich-Heine-University in Düsseldorf, Germany have published the results of their study into brain injuries inflicted by the inhabitants of a little Gaulish village which held out against the Roman invaders in circa 50 B.C.
The conclusion of the study was that:
704 cases of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) were identified. The majority of persons involved were adult and male.
"Among the 704 identified cases of brain injury, the largest group was composed of Romans (n=450, 63.9%). Thereof, most characters were members of the Roman imperial army (n=414), as troopers (n=365; 88.2%) or commissioned officers (n=49; 11.8%). Furthermore, 120 cases of head-injured Gaulish citizens were identified, as well as 21 head-injured pirates. The remaining head-injury victims had various sociocultural backgrounds, in that they were Belgians, Britons, Egyptians, Indians, native Americans, Normans, Swiss or Vikings. Also, four extraterrestrial characters suffered from TBI.
"Not surprisingly, Gauls caused the vast majority of TBI (n=614, 87.1%). Alone, Asterix and Obelix were responsible for more than half of the detected TBIs (n=406, 57.6%). In contrast, 32 head injuries (4.5%) were caused by Romans and only one by a pirate."
Although over half of patients had an initially severe impairment of consciousness after TBI, no permanent deficit could be found. Roman nationality, hypoglossal paresis, lost helmet, and ingestion of the magic potion were significantly correlated with severe initial impairment of consciousness.
More details can be found on the History Blog
while the full article can be downloaded at a price from Spingerlink