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Researchers find brain trauma in Chris Henry

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Old 06-30-2010, 12:27 PM   #1
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Researchers find brain trauma in Chris Henry

Researchers: Chris Henry had brain damage at the time of his death - ESPN

Interesting read.

"Chris Henry, the Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver who died in a traffic accident last year, had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) -- a form of degenerative brain damage caused by multiple hits to the head -- at the time of his death, according to scientists at the Brain Injury Research Institute, a research center affiliated with West Virginia University.
"We would have been very happy if the results had been negative, but multiple areas of Chris Henry's brain showed CTE," said Julian Bailes, director of BIRI and chairman of neurosurgery at West Virginia. Bailes and his colleagues presented results of their forensic examination at a news conference Monday afternoon.
Researchers have now discovered CTE in the brains of more than 50 deceased former athletes, including more than a dozen NFL and college players, pro wrestler Chris Benoit and NHL player Reggie Fleming.

Repeated blows to the head are the only known cause of CTE, researchers say. Concussive hits can trigger a buildup of toxic tau protein within the brain, which in turn can create damaging tangles and threads in the neural fibers that connect brain tissue. Victims can lose control of their impulses, suffer depression and memory loss, and ultimately develop dementia.
At the news conference Monday, Bailes said that neither NFL nor WVU records show Henry was diagnosed with a concussion during his playing career.
While the links between CTE and behavior are still being studied, many of the former athletes diagnosed with this form of brain damage died under unusual circumstances. Ex-Steeler Justin Strzelczyk, for example, was killed in 2004 after experiencing hallucinations, leading police on a high-speed chase for 40 miles before driving his car into a tanker truck. In 2007, Benoit strangled his wife and 7-year-old son, then put Bibles next to their bodies and hanged himself. Tom McHale, a guard for three NFL teams remembered by teammates as smart and dependable, sank into depression and died of a multiple-drug overdose in 2008."

This issue is incredibly alarming. Not sure I want my son playing football his whole life.
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Old 06-30-2010, 01:30 PM   #2
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Re: Researchers find brain trauma in Chris Henry

Tragic. I don't think people truly appreciate how much physical abuse, potentially fatal, NFL players take. The argument is always well they chose to play in a violent sport. They knew what they were getting into. I don't buy that. If steps, such as safer helmets, can be taken to mitigate the long term effects I can't see why anyone wouldn't be for it
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Old 06-30-2010, 01:41 PM   #3
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Re: Researchers find brain trauma in Chris Henry

We're just starting to learn about the extensive damage the brain can sustain from playing football. Really scary.
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