Study Reveals Junior Seau Suffered From CTE
Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) February 22, 2013 – An NFL linebacker who committed suicide was suffering from brain damage.
Junior Seau, the NFL linebacker who committed suicide last year, had the same brain disease that Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson suffered from, a new study has revealed. Both men shot themselves in the chest, with Duerson explicitly stating that it was so studies could be conducted on his brain.
A team of researchers studying Seau’s brain found that he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), probably the result of multiple blows to the head during his two-decade career in the National Football League. Several thousand former football players have filed lawsuits against the NFL, claiming that the league concealed the danger of brain injuries from them.
“This study adds to the evidence that the brain injuries suffered by NFL players are severe indeed,” said Chicago brain injury attorney Robert Briskman.
Seau’s family requested that the National Institutes of Health examine Seau’s brain tissue. CTE can only be diagnosed posthumously, as it does not show up on CT scans. Dr. Russell Lonser, the lead researcher, said that the findings from analysis of Seau’s brain tissue were consistent with CTE.
Five neuropathologists participated in the study, arriving at their diagnosis by measuring the accumulation of a protein known as tau in the brain tissue. Three of the researchers were independent and were not informed of the identity of the person whose brain they were studying. According to the researchers, the distribution of tau found in Seau’s brain tissue is unique to CTE.
CTE is associated with symptoms such as depression, forgetfulness, inability to organize and prioritize, and thoughts of suicide. Once known as boxer’s dementia, CTE is caused by repeated blows to the head and is found most often in professional athletes and members of the armed forces. Researchers have found that repeated impacts to the brain affects blood vessels, decreasing the flow of blood within the brain. CTE also damages neurons in the brain, causing the neurons in the brains of CTE patients to resemble those of Alzheimer’s patients.
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