Brain Trauma Found In Athletes
By Trey Ware
June 28, 2010
When Cincinnati Bengals football player Chris Henry died on December 17, 2009, it was reported that he either fell or jumped out of the back of a pickup truck driven by his fiancée. At the time it was believed they were having trouble in their relationship, and the accident was a result of a fight they were having. Now it appears there may have been more in play.
The autopsy revealed Henry suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE - a form of degenerative brain damage caused by multiple hits to the head. Researchers say they have discovered CTE in the brains of more than 50 deceased former athletes. NFL players, college football players, pro wrestlers, and NHL players are among those who are known to have suffered from CTE.
Repeated blows to the head are the only known cause of CTE. Those who suffer from CTE can develop serious issues including the inability to control their impulses, depression, and memory loss. Behavioral changes are common in those suffering with CTE. According to a published report by ESPN, CTE can only be pinpointed by autopsy.
Apparently, the NFL realizes there is a problem. In April, they gave $1 million to the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy in Boston.
Today's football players, from high school through pro, are bigger, stronger, and faster. Stand on the sidelines this fall and see for yourself. When they collide they create a powerful mini explosion.
Speaking as someone who played the sport, loves the sport, and would play again if I wasn't so darn old, I would like to see increased research into preventing brain injuries, and continuing improvement in the area of equipment.
Here is a link to an ESPN story about this issue: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5333971