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Thread: Junior Seau's brain had CTE

  1. #1
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    Junior Seau's brain had CTE

    http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/...otball-players


    SAN DIEGO -- Junior Seau, who committed suicide last May, two years after retiring as one of the premier linebackers in NFL history, suffered from the type of chronic brain damage that also has been found in dozens of deceased former players, five brain specialists consulted by the National Institutes of Health concluded.

    Seau's ex-wife, Gina, and his oldest son Tyler, 23, told ABC News and ESPN in an exclusive interview they were informed last week that Seau's brain had tested positive for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative disease that can lead to dementia, memory loss and depression.

    "I think it's important for everyone to know that Junior did indeed suffer from CTE," Gina Seau said. "It's important that we take steps to help these players. We certainly don't want to see anything like this happen again to any of our athletes."

    She said the family was told that Seau's disease resulted from "a lot of head-to-head collisions over the course of 20 years of playing in the NFL. And that it gradually, you know, developed the deterioration of his brain and his ability to think logically."

    CTE is a progressive disease associated with repeated head trauma. Although long known to occur in boxers, it was not discovered in football players until 2005. Researchers at Boston University recently confirmed 50 cases of CTE in former football players, including 33 who played in the NFL.

    Seau shot himself in the heart May 2. His death stunned not only the football world but also his hometown, San Diego, where he played the first 13 years of his 20-year career. Seau led the Chargers to their first and only Super Bowl appearance and became a beloved figure in the community.

    Within hours of Seau's death, Tyler Seau said he received calls from researchers hoping to secure his father's brain for study. The family ultimately chose the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C., to oversee the research.

    Gina Seau said the family chose the NIH because it was a "complete, comprehensive, unbiased scientific institution of the highest level."

    Dr. Russell Lonser, the former chief of surgical neurology at the NIH, helped coordinate the study. In an interview, Dr. Lonser, who was recently named chairman of the department of neurological surgery at Ohio State University, said that because of the publicity surrounding the case, the study of Seau's brain was "blinded" to ensure its independence.

    Three independent neuropathologists from outside the NIH were given unidentified tissue from three different brains; one belonged to Seau, another to a person who had suffered from Alzheimer's Disease, and a third from a person with no history of traumatic brain injury or neurodegenerative disease.

    Dr. Lonser said the three experts independently arrived at the same conclusion as two other government researchers: that Seau's brain showed definitive signs of CTE. Those signs included the presence of an abnormal protein called "tau" that forms neurofibrillary tangles, effectively strangling brain cells.

    A statement released by the NIH said the tangles were found "within multiple regions of Mr. Seau's brain." In addition, the statement said, a small region of the left frontal lobe showed "evidence of scarring that is consistent with a small, old traumatic brain injury."

    Dr. Lonser declined to name the neuropathologists who examined Seau's brain.

    In addition to his previous role at NIH and, now, at Ohio State, Dr. Lonser serves as chairman of the NFL's research subcommittee, part of the league's Head, Neck & Spine Committee, which helps set policy related to concussions. The NFL in September made a $30 million unrestricted donation to the NIH. Dr. Lonser said the league "was not involved in anything regarding how this brain was handled or managed at any step of the process, to be absolutely crystal clear about that."

    "The NFL had no influence whatsoever," he said.

    The study of CTE and football is still in its infancy. The prevalence of the disease has not been established. It cannot be diagnosed in living people, only by examining brains that are removed during autopsy.

    More than 4,000 former players are suing the NFL in the federal court, alleging the league ignored and denied the link between football and brain damage, even after CTE was discovered in former players. The Seau family said it has not yet decided whether to join the lawsuits.

    Over the past five years, under pressure from Congress, dissenting researchers and, more recently, the lawsuits, the NFL disbanded a controversial committee on concussions that was established in 1994 under former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. The league made several rule changes and overhauled its policies to focus on head trauma and long-term cognitive problems.

    Asked if she believed the NFL was slow to address the issue, Gina Seau said: "Too slow for us, yeah."

    Tyler, whose mother was Junior Seau's high school sweetheart, and Gina both described dramatic changes they noticed in Seau during the final years of his life, including mood swings, depression, forgetfulness, insomnia and detachment.

    "He would sometimes lose his temper," Tyler said. "He would get irritable over very small things. And he would take it out on not just myself but also other people that he was close to. And I didn't understand why."

    Seau, who also played for Miami and New England, was never listed by his teams as having had a concussion.

    Gina was married to Seau for 11 years and had three children with him. They divorced in 2002, but she said they remained close friends until his death. Seau sent a group text to his four children and Gina the night before he took his life.

    "I love you," he wrote.

    "The difference with Junior & from an emotional standpoint (was) how detached he became emotionally," Gina said. "It was so obvious to me because early, many, many years ago, he used to be such a phenomenal communicator. If there was a problem in any relationship, whether it was between us or a relationship with one of his coaches or teammates or somewhere in the business world, he would sit down and talk about it."

    Gina recalled that Seau frequently said, "Let's sit down and break bread and figure this out." She added, "He didn't run from conflict."

    Tyler, Gina and her two oldest children, 19-year-old Sydney and 17-year-old Jake, all said they found some solace in the CTE diagnosis because it helped explain some of Seau's uncharacteristic behavior.

    Still, it also left them conflicted that a sport so much a part of their lives had altered him so terribly.

    "It definitely hurts a little bit because football was part of our lives, our childhood, for such a long time," said Sydney, a freshman at USC. "And to hear that his passion for the sport inflicted and impacted our lives, it does hurt. And I wish it didn't, because we loved it just as much as he did. And to see that this was the final outcome is really bittersweet and really sad."

    Tyler said he was holding tightly to his memories of getting up at 5 in the morning to lift weights with his father before heading to the beach for a workout and surfing. And while the diagnosis helps, he said, it can't compensate for his loss.

    "I guess it makes it more real," he said. "It makes me realize that he wasn't invincible, because I always thought of him as being that guy. Like a lot of sons do when they look up to their dad. You know? You try to be like that man in your life. You try to mimic the things that he does. Play the game the way he did. Work the way he did. And, you know, now you look at it in a little bit different view."

    Tyler added: "Is it worth it? I'm not sure. But it's not worth it for me to not have a dad. So to me it's not worth it."

  2. #2
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    Sad and this line is sobering.

    Tyler added: "Is it worth it? I'm not sure. But it's not worth it for me to not have a dad. So to me it's not worth it."

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    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-1...-football.html

    In other words: Football doesn’t have a concussion problem. It has an existential one. By calling it anything else, we are doing the brain-trauma issue a grave disservice.

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    I'm amazed! WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THAT CONTINUOUSLY RUNNING FULL SPEED INTO A 250+ LB MAN HEAD FIRST WOULDN'T BE GOOD FOR YOU?

    What a joke. The people suing the league are losers and the league is terrible for not offering life-long health care and decent financial support for the majority of these guys who knew going in that they wouldn't come out normal or healthy.

    It makes me sad to read stuff like this, I mean the statement from his son is heartbreaking, but at the same time, the league keeps changing the rules that are making the game worse and won't simultaneously just flat out acknowledge that the game kills brains and bodies.

    There should be a stipulation that after 3 years on an NFL roster, you get healthcare from the NFL for life, including additional checkups to insure you don't have issues like Junior, and you get something like $100K a year for life.

    But the owners are greedy and the league is crapping itself at what some idiot judge will probably award to the plaintiffs in this class-action case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PMarsico9 View Post
    I'm amazed! WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THAT CONTINUOUSLY RUNNING FULL SPEED INTO A 250+ LB MAN HEAD FIRST WOULDN'T BE GOOD FOR YOU?

    What a joke. The people suing the league are losers and the league is terrible for not offering life-long health care and decent financial support for the majority of these guys who knew going in that they wouldn't come out normal or healthy.

    It makes me sad to read stuff like this, I mean the statement from his son is heartbreaking, but at the same time, the league keeps changing the rules that are making the game worse and won't simultaneously just flat out acknowledge that the game kills brains and bodies.

    There should be a stipulation that after 3 years on an NFL roster, you get healthcare from the NFL for life, including additional checkups to insure you don't have issues like Junior, and you get something like $100K a year for life.

    But the owners are greedy and the league is crapping itself at what some idiot judge will probably award to the plaintiffs in this class-action case.
    Lemme make sure I understand this.....the league is not doing enough to provide players with adequate healthcare post-retirement, but those people that are suing the league to obtain said benefits are losers?

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    Its dangerous. Before I had a child, i always told myself he will be in pee wee football at 5 years old. Hes 7 now and just asked me the other day to sign him up for tackle. I explain to him that it could be dangerous for his brain and I do not want to put him in that position. So he will continue to play flag football. He understood with not much begging and pleading.

    I figure when he gets to high school he can make his own decision on playing tackle. But while it is my decision to make, Im not letting him play.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crasherino View Post
    Lemme make sure I understand this.....the league is not doing enough to provide players with adequate healthcare post-retirement, but those people that are suing the league to obtain said benefits are losers?
    Thank god, I'm not the only one who is clueless here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe W. Namath View Post
    Its dangerous. Before I had a child, i always told myself he will be in pee wee football at 5 years old. Hes 7 now and just asked me the other day to sign him up for tackle. I explain to him that it could be dangerous for his brain and I do not want to put him in that position. So he will continue to play flag football. He understood with not much begging and pleading.

    I figure when he gets to high school he can make his own decision on playing tackle. But while it is my decision to make, Im not letting him play.
    It's still your decision when he gets to HS. IMO, never playing tackle and all of a sudden start playing in HS could also be setting himself up for major injury becuase he will have never learned proper technique.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by crasherino View Post
    Lemme make sure I understand this.....the league is not doing enough to provide players with adequate healthcare post-retirement, but those people that are suing the league to obtain said benefits are losers?
    No, the people suing the league are looking for money, straight up.

    The league is handling this in a very underhanded fashion. Creating distraction by changing the rules to the game is terrible. The rules don't need changed. People just need to stop acting like they are appalled or surprised that

    A) You get permanent damage if you repeatedly traumatize your head.

    B) Football is not a safe sport.

    Derp.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PMarsico9 View Post
    No, the people suing the league are looking for money, straight up.

    The league is handling this in a very underhanded fashion. Creating distraction by changing the rules to the game is terrible. The rules don't need changed. People just need to stop acting like they are appalled or surprised that

    A) You get permanent damage if you repeatedly traumatize your head.

    B) Football is not a safe sport.

    Derp.

    The point is not that traumatizing your head can lead to permanent damage.

    It's the fact that you can get damage in ways that we didn't know about.

    I played years ago but getting a "hot rush" and dizzy after a hard hit was just that. I've probably been concussed more than a dozen times playing from pee wee to div 1 college ball and didn't know it. Nor did anyone know that concussions would lead to what the lead to. I'm no dummy but I didn't know the extent of damage I might be doing.

    I hit someone so hard in college that I couldn't see and had to have my teammates walk me back to the huddle while the guy I hit on the other team, crawled around on his hands and knees not knowing where he was for a few seconds. Neither one of us came out and played the rest of the game. The refs and coaches didn't stop it either. I didn't know I had a concussion but I'm pretty sure now I did.

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    Not sure but it seems impossible to even consider.. Not to mention ridiculous however Is it possible that we might be seeing the beginning stages to what might be the end of the NFL??

    Even the "Roman Empire" crumbled!!

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    Sad. This is the major crisis facing the NFL.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by crasherino View Post
    Lemme make sure I understand this.....the league is not doing enough to provide players with adequate healthcare post-retirement, but those people that are suing the league to obtain said benefits are losers?
    Yeap you read his post correctly!!!!

    I am NOT going to comment on his post directly other than to say.....

    Good Grief!!!

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    How does a player who plays 4 years in the NFL sue the NFL?

    How does that ex-player prove it was the NFL that caused it. How many concussions in High School, where coaches are more abussive toward player safety than they are in the NFL.

    How many in Pop Warner, where kids don't even know what it is to get their bell rung?

    How many in college?

    There was a running back here in my town, had 8 confirmed concussions in HS. Confirmed. Played running back at UT, had a couple more, and quit. Now, say he didn't quit. Got signed as a late rounder in the NFL. Played for 2 years on Special Teams, had another couple concussions. Maybe 15 total, brain is damaged. But 8 in HS, 4 in college, 3 in the NFL. And it's the NFL's fault?

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    I'm all for player safety, but what needs to change in the NFL isn't just a rule or gear change. What needs to change in the NFL is the way some of these guys play. Head hunting and leading with the helmet starts with the player. Fix the player and you'll end up making the game safer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by McGinley View Post
    I'm all for player safety, but what needs to change in the NFL isn't just a rule or gear change. What needs to change in the NFL is the way some of these guys play. Head hunting and leading with the helmet starts with the player. Fix the player and you'll end up making the game safer.
    Then it ceases to be football.

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    This is the only cte I'd want


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    Quote Originally Posted by PMarsico9 View Post
    Then it ceases to be football.
    Ramming your head into another guy's head isn't football. Are you that dumb or are you just pretending?

    Strong, solid tackles where you lead with your shoulder and turn your head to the side as you wrap your guy up the way way you should play. Senselessly hitting with your head is just stupid.

  19. #19
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    Concussions happen when your head snaps fast enough to cause your brain to "bang" up against your skull. The easiest way to get one is a head to head hit but you can get one from a hit to the chest as well if it snaps your head back or forward fast enough to cause one. It's not as easy but you can get one. There's still a lot of research that needs to be done on this one.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe W. Namath View Post
    Its dangerous.

    I figure when he gets to high school he can make his own decision on playing tackle. But while it is my decision to make, Im not letting him play.
    Exactly how I feel. I won't put my child into tackle football until he's high school age at the earliest and only if he passionately wants to do it. Most of the benefits of athletics before that age he can certainly get in organized soccer, lacrosse, or basketball.

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