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CTE 35 articles

NFL great Ken Stabler diagnosed with CTE

Ken Stabler

When NFL great Ken Stabler died from colon cancer in July at age 69, he had a severe case of the concussion-related degenerative brain disease that has affected several former football players including Junior Seau and Frank Gifford, Boston University researchers have found. Stabler had agreed to have his brain donated to science after his death to determine if his confusion and headaches were symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. The disease can only be diagnosed posthumously. Researchers found that on a scale of 1 to 4, Stabler was a “high 3.” CTE causes dementia-like symptoms including memory loss ... Read More

Tyler Sash family finds answers in CTE diagnosis

skull xray

Barnetta Sash, mother of former Giants safety Tyler Sash, blamed her son’s bizarre behavior on powerful prescription drugs he was taking for a football-related shoulder injury. The 27-year-old became a celebrity when the Giants won the Super Bowl in 2011. But it was after leaving professional football following his fifth concussion that Barnetta says her son changed. Tyler was becoming confused at times, suffered memory loss, and became prone to temper tantrums. He had so much difficulty focusing that he was unable to seek meaningful employment. He was arrested in his hometown of Oskaloosa, Iowa, for public intoxication after leading ... Read More

‘Concussion’ movie documents discovery of head injury-related brain disease

Will Smith concussion movie

“I probably won’t be getting my free Super Bowl tickets this year,” says actor Will Smith, who plays Dr. Bennet Omalu in the Hollywood blockbuster movie “Concussion” opening this Christmas. Omalu is the man who discovered the link between repeated head blows from NFL players and the degenerative brain disorder, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Smith admits he felt conflicted about his role in the movie since he is a huge Philadelphia Eagles fan and father of a high school football star. But Omalu convinced him. During filming, Smith also met with family members of retired NFL players who had been ... Read More

Rams Quarterback Finishes Game With Head Injury, NFL Investigating

NFL concussion Case Keenum

The National Football League (NFL) and players’ union said they are investigating the circumstances that allowed St. Louis Rams quarterback Case Keenum to push through the remaining one minute and 10 seconds of Sunday Night’s game against the Baltimore Ravens despite visible signs that had suffered a concussion. With the teams tied 13-13 near the end of the fourth quarter, Ravens defensive end Timmy Jernigan threw Keenum to the ground just after he dropped back and threw the ball. In the tackle, Keenum hit the ground hard on his back as his head slammed the ground and bounced sharply back up. Keenum immediately ... Read More

Family suing Pop Warner youth football says concussions caused son’s severe brain disorder


The family of a football player who suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and killed himself in 2012 has filed a lawsuit against Pop Warner, the country’s largest youth football organization, alleging the program failed to warn players about the dangers of concussion and take appropriate measures to protect players from them. The New York Times reports that the estate of Joseph Chernach, who committed suicide in 2012 at age 25, filed a lawsuit Thursday in a Wisconsin federal court, seeking at least $5 million in damages from Pop Warner because the organization, as the suit alleges, “knew or should ... Read More

NFL removes cap on proposed settlement for retired players who suffered head injuries

NFL Logo

A $765 million award cap on a compensation program for retired National Football League (NFL) players suing the league for improper handling of concussions was eliminated, and funds will now be available for any retired player who develops a qualifying neuro-cognitive condition. The NFL had hoped the $765 million fund would be enough to resolve the lawsuits, however in January a Pennsylvania federal judge rejected the deal based on concerns that the dollar amount wasn’t enough to compensate all members in the class. The plaintiffs claim that brain injuries they suffered during their careers caused them dementia, depression, memory loss, ... Read More

Advances in medicine help with diagnosing, treating head injuries

skull xray

Concussions are hardly a new diagnosis for football players. But how the conditions are diagnosed and treated have changed dramatically through the years, especially since researchers have found that sports-related head injuries can cause serious, long-term problems. Years ago, medical professionals only labeled a head injury a “concussion” if the athlete lost consciousness. However, researchers now say that only about one in 10 concussions result in loss of consciousness, and that head blows that don’t knock athletes out can be just as dangerous as the ones that do. Testing technology for head injuries has also been revised in recent years, ... Read More

Body of NFL linebacker Belcher exhumed to test brain for CTE

Kansas City Chiefs 2009 Headshots

The body of deceased Kansas City Chief linebacker Jordan Belcher was exhumed last week in order to perform tests on his brain. Belcher’s family requested that researchers conduct the tests in hopes of finding answers as to why the professional NFL player last year shot his longtime girlfriend to death before turning the gun on himself. Belcher’s family wants to know if Belcher was a victim of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a progressive degenerative brain disease found in some contact-sport athletes with a history of repetitive brain trauma. CTE can only be diagnosed after death, by analyzing brain tissue ... Read More

New rules are needed to protect athletes if football is to survive


Increasing reports of serious, long-term health problems from repeated blows to the head are causing more parents to keep their children out of high-impact sports like football, and leaving many to wonder if the sport is headed for extinction if new rules are not adopted to protect athletes. In the past few years, dementia-like symptoms in professional football players have made scientists wonder if brains damaged during hard hits to the head on the playing field may have contributed to their degenerative brain diseases later in life. As of 2012, 33 former National Football League (NFL) players have been diagnosed ... Read More

Researcher finds ‘profound abnormalities’ in brains of retired NFL players

skull xray

A researcher studying the long-term risks of combative sports on the brains of retired professional football players said he observed “some of the most profound abnormalities in brain activity that I have ever seen.” Lead author Adam Hampshire, a neuroscientist at Imperial College London, said he saw unusual activity in the frontal lobe of retired National Football League (NFL) players as they performed cognitive tests. “(The) level of brain abnormality correlates strongly with the measure of head impacts of great enough severity to warrant being taken out of play,” he said. “It is highly likely that damage caused by blows ... Read More