CTE stands for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. Previous healthymrmory posts titled Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), and Watching Football, Feeling Guilty have discussed this devastating brain condition. After much legal action the NFL has set up a mechanism for compensating players who suffer from this disease. It is estimated that at least one-third of NFL players will suffer from early onset Alzheimer’s. Others can suffer symptoms that border on, if not cross, insanity and this insanity causes them to commit suicide.
The Sports section of the March 4, 2016 Washington Post contained two articles on CTE. One article ty Rick Maese is titled “Chastain will donate brain for research.” This is Brandi Chasten who played parts of 12 years for he U.S. national soccer team, helping the American win a pair of Olympic gold medals and two World Cup titles. She has become an advocate for making soccer a safer sport, urging youth leagues to ban heading the ball by athletes under age 14. Her brain eventually will go to the brain bank run by the Concussion Legacy Foundation, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Boston University School of Medicine. Currently only 4 of the 307 brains in this brain bank are from women. This shortcoming is especially important because the female brain may be more prone to injury and adverse long-term outcome that the male brain . Injury data for both college and high school athletics has found that women suffer more concussions than men who compete in similar sports.
Another article by Steven Goff titled, “Concussion symptoms lead D.C. United’s Arnaud to retire” reviews how Davy Arnand is retiring because he has been unable to shake the symptoms he’s suffered from recent concussions. He said that he had been unable to shake the “drunk, dizzy feeling” of a head injury suffered heading the ball in practice last summer. Other soccer players, Bryan Namoff, Josh Gros, Alecko Eskandarin, Devan McTavish, and Taylor Twellman are other players who have been forced into retirement by head injuries.
Dr. Bennet Heakandu Omalu who discovered, diagnosed, and define the condition is especially concerned about youth playing football. Their brains are especially vulnerable at those ages.
I find it ironic when athletics, whose primary objective is, or should be, health result is serious debilitating conditions.
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