In a shocking revelation, the National Institutes of Health released a study that revealed the extent of the brain trauma suffered by Junior Seau. Seau spent almost two decades playing for the NFL and was found dead last May, having committed suicide. The NIH study confirmed what many people thought possible, Seau suffered from a terrible degenerative brain condition associated with repeated blows to the head.
The NIH found that Seau’s brain showed issues consistent with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, otherwise known as CTE. Seau’s brain results were similar to those of other people with exposure to repetitive brain injuries. This means that Seau has joined a group of dozens of former players who have now been found to have CTE. A lab at Boston University has been studying the issue and reports that 24 former professional football players and nine who only played college ball suffered from CTE.
Seau’s family is grateful to finally have answers but wishes that they had known before it was too late. His son said that he wishes doctors had known of the brain injuries so that they could have intervened before Seau shot himself. His wife said that she wished she knew so she could have better understood his behavioral problems. His sometimes erratic behavior, mood swings, insomnia and depression were all related to his head trauma, something she never understood while Seau was alive.
The NFL is currently embroiled in thousands of lawsuits by former players who claim the organization withheld information regarding the potential harmful consequences of repeated brain injuries. So far, 3,818 players have sued the league, including at least 26 members of the Football Half of Fame.
Even more tragic is that Seau was not the first player to kill himself and later be discovered to suffer from CTE. At least two other former professional players have been identified: Dave Duerson and Ray Easterling.
Dave Duerson, former defensive back for the Chicago Bears, shot himself in February 2011. It was later discovered that he left a note asking that his brain be studied for signs of trauma given that he believed all was not well. His family has filed a wrongful death suit against the NFL arguing that the group did not do enough to prevent or treat brain injuries in players.
Ray Easterling played for the Atlanta Falcons in the 1970s and committed suicide in April of 2012. Later in life, Easterling suffered from dementia, severe depression and insomnia, a trio of issues that left him all but unrecognizable to those that were close to him. His widow, Mary Ann Easterling is among the plaintiffs who have sued the NFL.
Pope McGlamry P.C., currently represents former professional football players for injuries and damages sustained as a result of suffering concussions while playing football, and is actively involved in this litigation. If you or someone you love has been injured by a sports-related concussion, you may be entitled to compensation.
Source: “NFL’s Junior Seau had brain disease CTE when he killed himself,” by Barry Wilner, published at WashingtonTimes.com.
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