Tag Archives: CTE

Favre: Kids Shouldn’t Play Tackle Football Until 16

(New York, NY) – Legendary former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre is calling for kids to not play tackle football until they’re at least 16. On NBC’s “Megyn Kelly TODAY,” Favre said he probably suffered thousands of concussions throughout his life playing football, though he had only three or four that were officially diagnosed.

“As we’relearning about concussions there’s a term we use in football and maybe other sports, that I got `dinged.’ If that’s a concussion,then I’ve had hundreds, probably thousands, throughout my career,which is frightening.”

He was on the program along with fellow NFL great Kurt Warner, former pro baseball player David Ross and retired women’s soccer player Abby Wambach talking about a concussion-treatment drug being tested. All four are investors in the drug maker.


Horrifying Video: Texans Put Tom Savage Back In Game After Nasty Hit That Left Him Shaking

(SL) – The Texans are coming under fire for how they handled Tom Savage’s concussion during a loss to the 49ers on Sunday. Cameras showed Savage on the ground and his hands shaking after a hit by San Francisco’s Elvis Dumervil.

He went back into the game during the next series and then was pulled for good with what was called a concussion. Savage originally passed a concussion test, but failed a second one that forced him to leave.

Savage was hurt with about nine minutes remaining in the second quarter of Houston’s 26-16 loss when he was driven to the ground with a hit by Elvis Dumervil.

Replays showed Savage looking dazed after his head hit the ground, with both of his arms shaking and lifted upward.Coach Bill O’Brien was asked if it was worrisome that Savage was allowed to return to the game when he had a concussion. To which he said, “I don’t direct that. I don’t direct that at all. They just come to me and that’s kind of where that’s at. I don’t have anything to do with that. All I do is coach.”
Several of Savage’s teammates said they didn’t notice anything different about him on the drive after he was injured, and T.J. Yates, who took over for him, said the same thing.’When he got back to the sideline he seemed fine and coherent.” Final Score, San Francisco won 26-16.


New Research Highlights Youth Football Players’ Brain Injury Risk

(SL) -A new study says young football players can have measurable changes in the brain after only one season of play. Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas say that’s true even with youngsters who have not had concussions.

They found changes that can lead to traumatic brain injuries and mental disorders. Researchers say the vast majority of head impacts players experience don’t cause concussions. They say that’s something that needs a lot more study among youth football and high school players.shutterstock-68181940Science Daily reports, For the study, 26 youth football players (ages 9-13) were outfitted with the Head Impact Telemetry System (HITS) for an entire football season. HITS helmets are lined with accelerometers or sensors that measure the magnitude, location and direction of impacts to the head. Impact data from the helmets were used to calculate a risk of concussion exposure for each player. Players were equally divided into high and low concussion exposure groups. Players with a history of concussion were excluded.

A third group of 13 non-contact sport controls was established. Pre- and post-season resting functional MRI (fMRI) scans were performed on all players and controls, and connectivity within the DMN sub-components was analyzed.

Brain damage and sports injury concept with damaged brain model, american football helmet and a ball, illustrating CTE (Chronic traumatic encephalopathy) a syndrome caused by repeated concussion
The researchers used machine learning to analyze the fMRI data. Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence that allows computers to perform analyses based on existing relationships of data.
“Machine learning has a lot to add to our research because it gives us a fresh perspective and an ability to analyze the complex relationships within the data,” said Murugesan. “Our results suggest an increasing functional change in the brain with increasing head impact exposure.”Five machine learning classification algorithms were used to predict whether players were in the high-exposure, low-exposure or non-contact groups based on the fMRI results.
The algorithm discriminated between high-impact exposure and non-contact with 82 percent accuracy, and low-impact exposure and non-contact with 70 percent accuracy. The results suggest an increasing functional change with increasing head-impact exposure.”The brains of these youth and adolescent athletes are undergoing rapid maturation in this age range.

Continue reading New Research Highlights Youth Football Players’ Brain Injury Risk

Aaron Hernandez Had Severe Case Of CTE

(SL)  – A researcher says Aaron Hernandez suffered the most severe case of CTE she’s evediscovered in a person his age, damage that would have significantly impacted his decision-making, judgment and cognition.


Dr. Ann McKee, the head of the CTE Center at Boston University, called Hernandez’s brain “one of the most significant contributions to our work” because of its pristine condition. Doctors diagnosed Hernandez with Stage 3 CTE, which researchers hadnever seen in a brain younger than 46 years old, McKee said.
His brain had significant damage to the front lobe, which impacts a person’s ability to make decisions and moderate behavior.
The Daily Mail reports, Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a degenerative brain disease that is caused by repeated hits to the head.  Over time, these hard impacts result in confusion, depression, dementia, explosiveness, aggression, and suicidal thoughts.
Researchers are still unclear on how CTE affects behavior, but a growing swell of studies is offering some answers.
  • CTE sufferers have clumps of tau protein built up in the frontal lobe, which controls emotional expression and judgment (similar to dementia)
  • This interrupts normal functioning and blood flow in the brain, disrupting and killing nerve cells
  • By stage 3 – i.e. Hernandez’s stage – the tau deposits expand from the frontal lobe (at the top) to the temporal lobe (on the sides). This affects the amygdala and the hippocampus, which controls emotion and memory
The disgraced star had a $41 million NFL contract when he was arrested at his home in June 2013 and charged with the murder of a semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd.
Lloyd was the boyfriend of Hernandez’s fiancee’s sister. He was found dead in an industrial park on June 17, 2013, riddled with bullets. Surveillance footage showed Hernandez at the scene an hour before, then arriving at home minutes after gunshots were fired.
In April 2015, Hernandez was convicted of first-degree murder, and sentenced to life in prison. While in prison, Hernandez was charged with another killing – a double murder committed by a drive-by shooting. But in April this year, he was acquitted of both charges.  The next day, he took his own life.
His family has since filed a lawsuit against the NFL and the Patriots on behalf of Hernandez’s four-year-old daughter Avielle, claiming the club and the league knew about the connections between football and CTE long before Hernandez was drafted.


Aaron Hernandez’ Lawyers File Another Lawsuit Against NFL

(SL) – Lawyers for late New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez are filing another lawsuit against the NFL.
They filed suit in a Massachusetts state court yesterday against the league and against the company that makes their helmets, alleging they didn’t appropriately handle Hernandez’ brain injuries.
Unlike the Hernandez family’s lawsuits in federal court, this one doesn’t name the Patriots organization.

Hernandez was still serving a life sentence for the murder of Odin Lloyd in 2013, but his suicide made Hernandez a legally innocent man as he died during an appeal process.


In September, the former New England Patriot player’s lawyer Jose Baez announced brain scans by the Boston University Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center found Hernandez had advanced stage 3 CTE, otherwise known as the degenerative brain disease common in retired football players and linked to suicide and depression.

The lawyers’ case against the state alleges the NFL hid knowledge on the true dangers of football, naming Illinois-based helmet maker Riddell.

The company, founded in 1929, told the Associated Press it plans to vigorously defend its products and reputation in wake of the new lawsuit, as well as any other concussion-related lawsuits.

Former Football Star Lawrence Phillips Family Donates His Brain To Research

(Delano, CA) – He was supposed to go down in the NFL Hall of Fame. With all the makings and talent of a superstar athlete, Lawrence Phllips had one problem that he talked about in 1995 after facing charges for assaulting his girlfriend in Nebraska.  “Being able to walkl away from my instincts,” he said candidly. Poignant words from a man whose instincts encircled corruptive behavior, anger and violence.
  •  * In 2006, was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon for a 2005 incident in which he drove his car into teenagers on a playground following a dispute in Los Angeles. He was sentenced to 10 years in 2008.
  •  *In 2009 He was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in jail for assaulting a girlfriend in 2005.
  • * In 2015, he was suspected of killing his cellmate Damion Soward. He was charged with that crime in September 2015.  Blood was found in the cell and on Phillips’ clothes.
Reportedly, Phillips was convinced that he would received the death penality for the alleged murder of Soward, so he committed suicide.

Dan Chamberlain, an attorney for Juanita Phillips, told USA Today that her son’s brain will be donated to Boston University’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Program.

“She wanted an explanation about what happened, and I told her, ‘Look, the only way you can really explain it is by examining his brain,’” Chamberlain said, via USA Today. “I told her, ‘You owe it to your son, you owe it to every other NFL, college and pee wee and high school and middle school player that played football.’”

Researchers will study the impacts of traumatic brain injuries and CTE or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in athletes.