Sunday, February 3, 2013

“Chronic traumatic encephalopathy” (CTE) and Me

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“Chronic traumatic encephalopathy” (CTE) and Me
Today is Super Bowl Sunday for the World and for the NFL. Whoa!

It is a day that fantastic athletes are dressed in their bright colours and will show their tremendous talent for the whole world to see.  The money that will be paid out to the players is huge. The team that wins will brag about this day for a lifetime.

While the small amount of tremendous athletes do their stuff on the field… an estimated 100 million people will watch and cheer them all over the world. The unique thing is that the 100 million that watch will be terribly out of shape and should be on a field exercising.  They will be eating buckets of Chicken Wings each an guzzling gallons of liquid to quench their salt driven diets.

These overweight and over eating fans are not healthy for the most part.

But on the field some of the athletes are in worse shape or will possibly be in a few year’s time.

Many will eventually suffer from CTE (Chronic traumatic encephalopathy). Wikipedia states…
“Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a form of encephalopathy that is a progressive degenerative disease, usually diagnosed postmortem in individuals with a history of multiple concussions and other forms of head injury. A variant of the condition, dementia pugilistica (DP), is primarily associated with boxing. CTE has been most commonly found in professional athletes participating in American football, ice hockey, professional wrestling and other contact sports who have experienced head trauma. It has also been found in soldiers exposed to a blast or a concussive injury, in both cases resulting in characteristic degeneration of brain tissue and the accumulation of tau protein. Individuals with CTE may show symptoms of dementia, such as memory loss, aggression, confusion and depression, which may appear within months of the trauma or many decades later.

Repeated concussions and injuries less serious than concussions ("sub-concussions") incurred during the play of contact sports over a long period can result in CTE. The brain changes in CTE and DP are similar and are delayed effects of repeated concussions and sub-concussions of the brain. In the case of blast injury, a single exposure to a blast and the subsequent violent movement of the head in the blast wind can cause the condition.” ( )

Many of the young men that are playing come very poor backgrounds – but with their athletic talents and abilities they now will be paid salaries that the rest of us will only dream about.

Yet down the road they may never see the wealth that they have earned or realize what it is to see grandkids grow up – or to know them.

At the start of this Super Bowl Sunday there are something like a reported 3800 lawsuits filed against the NFL from families of former NFL Players.  These men have either died or are so seriously affected by CTE – they are not enjoying life – nor are their families.

Today as I see these guys play their hearts out.  And I will feel deeply for some of them.

It is way more than good TV commercials, chicken wings and football… way more.

Personally… my Grandpa Lincoln likely died of this or with this problem when I was about 11 years old. I never really knew my Grandpa Lincoln – only knew about him and his head injury.

~ Murray Lincoln ~
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