Ex-Patriot’s tight end, and convicted murder, Aaron Hernandez, was found post mortem to have had severe CTE.
Athletes who sustain multiple concussions are at high risk of developing CTE, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. This progressive, degenerative disease of the brain is also found in veterans and those who sustained repeated head trauma. Symptoms include mood disorders, paranoia, impulse control issues, aggression, and memory loss to name a few.
A lawsuit (reportedly $20 million) has been filed by the family against the NFL and New England Patriots. Hernandez was only 27 years old when he hung himself in his prison cell April 19th of this year.
Researchers from Boston University concluded the 27 year-old football star had stage 3 of 4 CTE. This severity is rarely seen in someone this young.
The lawsuit claims that by the time Hernandez joined the NFL, the league knew of the dangers of concussions and led players to believe they were safe. Attorney Jose Baez stated the Patriots and NFL were “fully aware of the damage that could be inflicted from repetitive impact injuries and failed to disclose, treat or protect him from the dangers of such damage.”
Neuropathologists found loss of brain volume (atrophy), and tau protein deposits throughout his frontal lobes. The frontal lobe of the brain regulates impulse control, memory, judgement, social behavior and problem solving.
What are the stages of CTE?
The CTE Stages are as follows:
Stage 1: Loss of concentration, attention, dizziness and headaches
Stage 2: Additionally short term memory loss, mood disorder such as depression, and at times explosive outbursts
Stage 3: Worsening loss of memory, judgement, ability to do daily tasks, movement disorders, tremors and suicidality
Stage 4: Amnesia, severe cognitive impairment, evidence of dementia.
Image from Sites at Penn State
LearnHealthSpanish.com / Medical Spanish made easy.
Daliah Wachs is a guest contributor to GCN news. Doctor Wachs is an MD, FAAFP and a Board Certified Family Physician. The Dr. Daliah Show , is nationally syndicated M-F from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm and Saturday from Noon-1:00 pm (all central times) at GCN.