Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Another NFL player dies, convinced that he suffered chronic traumatic encephalopathy from playing the game

Dave Duerson
Former Chicago Bears football star Dave Duerson killed himself recently with a gunshot to the chest. In a suicide note, he wrote: “Please, see that my brain is given to the N.F.L.’s brain bank.” The New York Times reports on the story here. I've blogged about the Boston University Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Brain Bank before. Dr. Ann McKee is doing important work there that may shake the very foundation of our national obsession with the game of football.


poolmaven51 said...

Our own Brian Moore commented recently on this in the following news article!


Anonymous said...

Nice post, Brian. Is there any pathological differences between the encephalopathy encountered in football players vs boxers?

Brian E. Moore, MD, MEd said...

To Dr. Pool:
Good question. No, there is no pathologic difference between the encephalopathy encountered by football players and that seen in boxers. Since these same findings are being seen in those that play impact sports other than boxing, the term "dementia pugilistica" is starting to be replaced by the term "chronic traumatic encephalopathy".

William Seay said...

This is tragic and is no real suprise to me. I played football from age six in 1972 to age 18 in 1984. The headaches were the worst form of pain, during and after practice from getting your "bell rung" as we called it. I hope doctors can learn from the injured brain of these players but the game will continue because of the obsession you mentioned.

Chris said...

Another NFL-related CTE...doubt these are going to go away anytime soon.

Any evidence from soccer players that you are aware of?

Brian E. Moore, MD, MEd said...

In response to Chris's question regarding the association between soccer and CTE, I found the following sentence in a review article:

"CTE has recently been found to occur after other causes of repeated head trauma, suggesting that any repeated blows to the head, such as those that occur in American football, hockey, soccer, professional wrestling, and physical abuse, can also lead to neurodegenerative changes."

(Gavett BE, Stern, RA, McKee AC. Clinics in Sports Medicine. 30(1):179-88, xi, 2011 Jan.)

Anonymous said...

been reading alot about CTE and Sporting related-brain injuries recently. I was wondering if any cases of CTE have been found in Lacrosse, Basketball, Pro-Skateboarders and BMX riders, MMA Fighters, or Aussie-Rules Football players?