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Bacchus
01-10-2013, 04:18 AM
Doctors: Junior Seau's brain had CTE

Updated: January 10, 2013, 7:11 AM ET
By Mark Fainaru-Wada, Jim Avila and Steve Fainaru | ESPN.com

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.

More on OTL, World News

Additional coverage of this story will be available on Outside The Lines, 3 p.m. ET on ESPN, and on World News with Diane Sawyer, 6:30 p.m. ET, on your local ABC television network station.

"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.

Junior Seau played for three teams but never was described as having suffered a concussion.

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.

For rest of article: http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/8830344/study-junior-seau-brain-shows-chronic-brain-damage-found-other-nfl-football-players

http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2012/0824/otl_e_concussion_ill_b1_288.jpg

Crossroads

ESPN's cross-platform series, "Football at a Crossroads," examines health issues surrounding football at all levels of the sport, from youth football, high school and college football, through semipro and professional football.

Bacchus
01-10-2013, 04:21 AM
Remember that helmet Mark Kelso of the Bills used to wear? There has to be better helmets available to stop some of these concussions.

EDIT: http://ts2.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4560311239639337&pid=15.1

Bronco Yoda
01-10-2013, 04:50 AM
Hopefully they develop better equipment & these new rules help.

cutthemdown
01-10-2013, 04:56 AM
Remember that helmet Mark Kelso of the Bills used to wear? There has to be better helmets available to stop some of these concussions.

EDIT: http://ts2.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4560311239639337&pid=15.1

They run into a problem where helmets have a tough time doing two things at the same time.

If you make it protect from catastrophic collisions the helmets don't perform as well on the lower impact collisions and the players get more damage from many small hits to the brain.

If you make the helmet great for the normal NFL hits then they don't perform as well for the big huge hit and you maybe get a player seriously brain injured.

Really there is only one solution. Players will need to buy big time insurance or work out a plan with the union and owners to create a fund. Then unfortunately if a player gets too many concussions they may have to say your career is over in the NFL because it's not safe for you to play. Then if player diagnosed with that and ended maybe they have a big fund and he gets a severance pay or something. It would be a formula based on yrs played and how much money you made a yr i guess. Or maybe just a set rate or something.

I'm not saying this idea would work just throwing it out there. But I know what won't work and that just letting the NFL get sued every time a player commits suicide etc etc. If the sport really killing players then they will have to think at what age should kids even start playing.

v2micca
01-10-2013, 05:04 AM
Remember that helmet Mark Kelso of the Bills used to wear? There has to be better helmets available to stop some of these concussions.

EDIT: http://ts2.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4560311239639337&pid=15.1

Despite the NFLs PR campaign, Helmets are largely ineffective at preventing concussions. They are very good at preventing cracked skulls, which is what they were originally intended to prevent. They also protect against abrasions, and cuts. But many concussions are the result of rapid (as in almost instantaneous) acceleration and deceleration of the head, resulting in internal trauma. Helmets can't protect against this type of injury nearly as well as we would like.

Ray Finkle
01-10-2013, 05:50 AM
I wonder if these issues had any reasoning in his son picking lacrosse over football (he's a stud lacrosse player).

errand
01-10-2013, 06:59 AM
I wonder if these issues had any reasoning in his son picking lacrosse over football (he's a stud lacrosse player).

I'm sure nobody has ever gotten a concussion playing lax

gunns
01-10-2013, 08:04 AM
I wonder if these issues had any reasoning in his son picking lacrosse over football (he's a stud lacrosse player).

It did. He was good at football but says why risk giving up Lacrosse for football after seeing the effects on his Dad.

hades
01-10-2013, 08:27 AM
They need Jack in the Box head style helmets, filled with a soft to gradually medium ply foam rubber to slowly decelerate the head when it impacts anything. Less jarring of the old noggin' less brain trauma!

Beantown Bronco
01-10-2013, 08:31 AM
There's only one way to cure a "broke" brain: give it money.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/cAywd8Nk370" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Tim
01-10-2013, 08:59 AM
That seems like it justifies offing yourself.

Smiling Assassin27
01-10-2013, 09:00 AM
Gotta implement these, pronto:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KV4FQuTKkWA/TV7EatfNd5I/AAAAAAAAACE/0m2o1Mc2h_Y/s1600/Dark-Helmet.jpg

BroncoMan4ever
01-10-2013, 09:45 AM
Honestly his brain was working good enough to have the frame of mind to shoot himself in the chest.

I'm sorry but these head injuries aren't a big deal to me. No one makes these guys play football. They are compensated well for doing a line of work that will affect them the rest of their lives. Scared of being hurt, hit or having pain later in life, than football isn't for you.

Ray Finkle
01-10-2013, 09:55 AM
I'm sure nobody has ever gotten a concussion playing lax

I've gotten several of them but the head hitting is considerably less than in Football.

v2micca
01-10-2013, 10:28 AM
Honestly his brain was working good enough to have the frame of mind to shoot himself in the chest.

I'm sorry but these head injuries aren't a big deal to me. No one makes these guys play football. They are compensated well for doing a line of work that will affect them the rest of their lives. Scared of being hurt, hit or having pain later in life, than football isn't for you.


I think you are missing the point. You may not care one way or another about these players welfare, but as more and more knowledge gets out there, an increasing number of fans are going to feel uncomfortable with grown men, many plucked from underprivileged areas, braining themselves to death for nothing more than mere amusement of the masses.

Once again, I get that you don't care. But you alone do not fund the multi-billion dollar enterprise that is the NFL. The NFL has to worry about turning off fans who may begin to feel they are effectively cheering a bloodsport.

errand
01-10-2013, 10:50 AM
I think you are missing the point. You may not care one way or another about these players welfare, but as more and more knowledge gets out there, an increasing number of fans are going to feel uncomfortable with grown men, many plucked from underprivileged areas, braining themselves to death for nothing more than mere amusement of the masses.

Once again, I get that you don't care. But you alone do not fund the multi-billion dollar enterprise that is the NFL. The NFL has to worry about turning off fans who may begin to feel they are effectively cheering a bloodsport.


I wonder how come nobody is whining in boxing, UFC or MMA?

boltaneer
01-10-2013, 10:59 AM
Remember that helmet Mark Kelso of the Bills used to wear? There has to be better helmets available to stop some of these concussions.

EDIT: http://ts2.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4560311239639337&pid=15.1

http://espn.go.com/blog/playbook/tech/post/_/id/1792/heads-up-new-tech-to-combat-concussions-in-football

BroncoMan4ever
01-10-2013, 10:59 AM
I think you are missing the point. You may not care one way or another about these players welfare, but as more and more knowledge gets out there, an increasing number of fans are going to feel uncomfortable with grown men, many plucked from underprivileged areas, braining themselves to death for nothing more than mere amusement of the masses.

Once again, I get that you don't care. But you alone do not fund the multi-billion dollar enterprise that is the NFL. The NFL has to worry about turning off fans who may begin to feel they are effectively cheering a bloodsport.

You talk like I want to see injuries. But that isn't the truth. Injuries come with the territory. And like it or not humanity loves violent competition. Look at the NFL. Deacon Jones, Jack Lambert, Jack Tatum, John Lynch, Atwater, Romanowski all guys who were vicious hitters some of whom were dirty were loved by fans. We're a society that watched Ali get punched into dementia. Hell go back to ancient Rome with the gladiators.

For the most part most don't care. They look at it as part of the job. The spectacle gives these guys fame fortune and glory and a cost for that is pain and injury. It isn't the fans worry that is making these stories a big deal. It's the players who want more money and the league looking for ways to prevent future payouts.

If a guy who willingly juggles chainsaws loses a limb no one feels sorry for that guy. His profession of choice was dangerous and he knew the risks.

No one makes these guys play football. It is their choice and they know the risks. Why should we feel sorry?

Boxing, UFC, hockey are all contact sports that don't have as big of notice about similar injuries. Why no bitching in those sports?

v2micca
01-10-2013, 11:02 AM
I wonder how come nobody is whining in boxing, UFC or MMA?

They did, at least with boxing. Compare the percentage of High Schools with boxing programs from the 60's to today. There are many reasons for Boxing falling from its former lofty position as one of the top 3 sports in North America, but the distaste for its violence played a factor. UFC and MMA aren't even close to as mainstream as the NFL. They can continue to survive on and build their demographic. Conversely the NFL has to maintain its demo and find a way to play both ends as much as possible to maintain position as the market leader. They can't eliminate the violence of the game as that would turn off fans who enjoy that aspect. But they also have to reassure the more conscientious fans that we are not Plebeians cheering for the deaths of the Gladiators. This later task will become more and more difficult as more information regarding concussions and their long term health effects becomes available.

broncofever
01-10-2013, 11:16 AM
There's a really good article in Popular Science about helmets and different options. If you are really interested in learning more this has some really fascinating bits. A long read but good. http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2012-12/helmet-wars-and-new-helmet-could-protect-us-all

v2micca
01-10-2013, 11:17 AM
You talk like I want to see injuries. But that isn't the truth. Injuries come with the territory. And like it or not humanity loves violent competition. Look at the NFL.

I am looking at the NFL. And I'm seeing that its popularity increase coincided more a rise of prolific and entertaining offenses than it did with increased violence of the sport.

I don't think you want to see injuries. Few true fans do. But I know that you don't care if a player is injured because you feel the average compensation an NFL player receives is more than enough to justify the inherent risks. Fair enough. Some people don't feel that way and the NFL is closely monitoring this group to make sure it doesn't eventually affect their bottom line.

As I mentioned earlier, the NFL isn't like Hockey, UFC, Boxing, or the MMA. Its popularity is largely confined to one Continent and does not maintain itself by marketing to a very specific and devoted fanbase. The NFL is mainstream and thus must balance the tendencies of multiple disparate demographics in order to maintain its current market share. Unlike the UFC and the MMA, the NFL knows that there are not that many remaining growth sectors for the sport. That is why they are so desperately trying to expand overseas and get other nations interested. But, until they can find a way to expand, they have to focus on retention of their current fan base. That means finding a way to maintain the level of violence a certain demographic enjoys, without letting it escalate to the point that another demographic is put off.

BroncoInferno
01-10-2013, 11:38 AM
As counterintuitive as it sounds, it would probably increase safety to do away with helmets and even most padding all together. Think about it. It is precisely because of the protection provided by helmets and padding that defenders feel safe in launching their bodies at an offensive player to begin with. Do you think someone with no helmet or shoulder pads would launch head first at another player? It might increase bad scrapes and scratches and busted teeth, but I suspect you would see a descrease in concussions and the type of brain trauma that is the result of high impact hits.

B-Large
01-10-2013, 11:59 AM
Honestly his brain was working good enough to have the frame of mind to shoot himself in the chest.

I'm sorry but these head injuries aren't a big deal to me. No one makes these guys play football. They are compensated well for doing a line of work that will affect them the rest of their lives. Scared of being hurt, hit or having pain later in life, than football isn't for you.

I empathize with these men, and more importantly their families.

But you are correct- football, and the physics of the game are undenaible, concussion are part of the program. While I think trying cut done on viscious helmet to helmet hits is a good idea, its the problem of cumlative concussive issues that is the real problem. Just because you were not knocked out cold does nto mean you were not concussed... heck,lineman bumps heads on every single play... every one... you tell me when 360lb meets 300lb from time to time there is not noodle smacking against the skull... forget about it!

The really smart ones get drafted, sign a ice contract, and retire after their rookie deal expires... if you want have a banged up brain, then by all means play 16 seasons in the NFL....

But they know the risks... so be it

Beantown Bronco
01-10-2013, 12:08 PM
Yet another reason to become a kicker or punter.

gyldenlove
01-10-2013, 12:29 PM
They are currently working on making helmets with non-Newtonian fluid padding, essentially the padding will be a viscous fluid under soft collisions providing excellent energy absorption just like an air bag or crumble zone in a car does to protect what is inside. Under hard collisions the liquid becomes solid and forms an impenetrable barrier protecting the skull by distributing the energy as much as possible to prevent point of impact damages such as hemorrhaging and skull fractures.

For an example of the technology you can google "walking on custard".

Helmets have come a long way in the last 30 years and will have come a lot further in the next 30, it is tragic that so many good men have to suffer horribly, but the technology doesn't exist yet to protect them from themselves and people like them.

houghtam
01-10-2013, 01:47 PM
Despite the NFLs PR campaign, Helmets are largely ineffective at preventing concussions. They are very good at preventing cracked skulls, which is what they were originally intended to prevent. They also protect against abrasions, and cuts. But many concussions are the result of rapid (as in almost instantaneous) acceleration and deceleration of the head, resulting in internal trauma. Helmets can't protect against this type of injury nearly as well as we would like.

This. There's only so much technology can do. A concussion is caused by the brain's momentum forcing it into the inside of the skull. In order to protect entirely from concussions, you would not only need protection from the outside, but some way to keep your brain from smashing into the inside of your skull, as well. No amount of outside protection will help with that.

Additionally, many of the arguments in this thread are, as you kind of mentioned, addressing concussions in the common sense of the term.

It's important for everyone to understand that CTE is a result of getting many concussions over a long period of time, when those concussions are mild enough to go unnoticed by health professionals.

DAN_BRONCO_FAN
01-10-2013, 02:11 PM
poor guy wish he didnt kill himself. he didnt have to do that there is medical technology that i believe can scan a brain for damages

houghtam
01-10-2013, 02:49 PM
poor guy wish he didnt kill himself. he didnt have to do that there is medical technology that i believe can scan a brain for damages

Far be it from me to opine the reasoning behind someone committing suicide, but I don't believe Seau killed himself because he wanted to find out if he had CTE. I'm guessing he killed himself because he was suffering from dementia, and did it in such a way that they would be able to study him afterwards. Contrary to some beliefs, not all mental illnesses result in the subject's total loss of cognitive function. It's completely believable that Seau was suffering from a condition which caused him to feel like suicide was the only way out, yet still leave his body in a position to be studied for posterity.

errand
01-10-2013, 03:13 PM
It's important for everyone to understand that CTE is a result of getting many concussions over a long period of time, when those concussions are mild enough to go unnoticed by health professionals.

and that is the problem in a nutshell....sometimes players can have concussions and not even know they have one....and the symptoms elude the team medical staff and doctors. And if the players and medical staff have no idea they're concussed, how can they blame the league?

Maybe the league should have a flexible IR list where it is mandatory for any player that sustained a helmet to helmet hit or has his head slammed into the turf must be placed on it until cleared to play....because short of making robot players or making the NFL go to video games instead of live action to decide their champions the physicality of the game will create and injury-health risk.

The game is popular because it is driven by the spectators who love the violence it offers.....I mean which one of us didn't like watching Atwater, Smith and Lynch punishing players stupid enough to come across the middle? Who on here hated watching Terrell Davis power thru LB's and DB's like he had an extra 15 lbs. of prosthetic steel forearms? How many of you wouldn't risk brain damage by stepping into a boxing ring with Tyson or Ali for a big $500,000 or $1 million payday?

Bacchus
01-10-2013, 08:10 PM
Bernie Kosar finds treatment



CLEVELAND -- Bernie Kosar (http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/_/id/6457/bernie-kosar) spent more than 10 years in persistent pain, the effects of more than one dozen documented concussions he sustained in 13 years as an NFL quarterback.


There are hits he remembers. There were others, so many others with the Browns, he shook off with smelling salts tucked into the front of his pants on game day.
But the ringing and buzzing in his head never subsided. Kosar couldn't sleep. He slurred his words. His life, troubled by financial woes and a failed marriage, was almost unlivable. He was desperate, masking his misery with medication and trying to pretend things weren't as bad as they seemed.

“ Bernie, in effect, put his head through the windshield every Sunday.
” <cite>-- Dr. Rick Sponaugle, a "pioneer" in brain therapies who runs a wellness institute in Palm Harbor, Fla.</cite> Desperate for help after tapping into numerous medical resources with limited results, Kosar discovered Dr. Rick Sponaugle, a "pioneer" in brain therapies who runs a wellness institute in Palm Harbor, Fla. Kosar claims through Sponaugle's "groundbreaking" work that his symptoms have improved, his brain is healing and he's feeling better than he has in years.


"It was a gift from God to find this and feel like this," Kosar said Thursday, opening up publicly for the first time about his affliction. "I see all the symptoms going away."
Kosar is spreading the word about his improved condition and his goal is to get help for former teammates and other ex-NFL players dealing with onset dementia, depression and other symptoms caused by playing an inherently violent sport only now coming to terms with the physical toll it has taken on thousands.


to watch Seau video and read rest of article and comments click here: http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/8833397/bernie-kosar-former-cleveland-browns-quarterback-finding-help-concussions

Bacchus
01-10-2013, 08:11 PM
Bernie Kosar finds treatment



CLEVELAND -- Bernie Kosar (http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/_/id/6457/bernie-kosar) spent more than 10 years in persistent pain, the effects of more than one dozen documented concussions he sustained in 13 years as an NFL quarterback.


There are hits he remembers. There were others, so many others with the Browns, he shook off with smelling salts tucked into the front of his pants on game day.
But the ringing and buzzing in his head never subsided. Kosar couldn't sleep. He slurred his words. His life, troubled by financial woes and a failed marriage, was almost unlivable. He was desperate, masking his misery with medication and trying to pretend things weren't as bad as they seemed.

Bernie, in effect, put his head through the windshield every Sunday.
<cite>-- Dr. Rick Sponaugle, a "pioneer" in brain therapies who runs a wellness institute in Palm Harbor, Fla.</cite> Desperate for help after tapping into numerous medical resources with limited results, Kosar discovered Dr. Rick Sponaugle, a "pioneer" in brain therapies who runs a wellness institute in Palm Harbor, Fla. Kosar claims through Sponaugle's "groundbreaking" work that his symptoms have improved, his brain is healing and he's feeling better than he has in years.

"It was a gift from God to find this and feel like this," Kosar said Thursday, opening up publicly for the first time about his affliction. "I see all the symptoms going away."
Kosar is spreading the word about his improved condition and his goal is to get help for former teammates and other ex-NFL players dealing with onset dementia, depression and other symptoms caused by playing an inherently violent sport only now coming to terms with the physical toll it has taken on thousands.

.....While Kosar was receiving treatments last month, he made an appearance on a Cleveland sports talk radio show in which he became emotional and slurred his words. Kosar sounded intoxicated, and some Browns fans surmised he was either drunk or over-medicated.

Kosar said he "wasn't exactly cognizant" of how the appearance came across. Sponaugle, however, wasn't surprised by it after reviewing several scans of Kosar's brain, rattled by years of being hit by defenders and having the back of his helmet s bounced off turf fields in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Houston he described as being as hard as "pavement."

"Once you get decreased blood flow," Sponaugle said, "you're in trouble. I knew why he was weepy. I've seen this in all kinds of people."



to watch Seau video and read rest of article and comments click here: http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/8833397/bernie-kosar-former-cleveland-browns-quarterback-finding-help-concussions

boltaneer
01-10-2013, 10:18 PM
Bernie Kosar finds treatment



CLEVELAND -- Bernie Kosar (http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/_/id/6457/bernie-kosar) spent more than 10 years in persistent pain, the effects of more than one dozen documented concussions he sustained in 13 years as an NFL quarterback.


There are hits he remembers. There were others, so many others with the Browns, he shook off with smelling salts tucked into the front of his pants on game day.
But the ringing and buzzing in his head never subsided. Kosar couldn't sleep. He slurred his words. His life, troubled by financial woes and a failed marriage, was almost unlivable. He was desperate, masking his misery with medication and trying to pretend things weren't as bad as they seemed.

Bernie, in effect, put his head through the windshield every Sunday.
<cite>-- Dr. Rick Sponaugle, a "pioneer" in brain therapies who runs a wellness institute in Palm Harbor, Fla.</cite> Desperate for help after tapping into numerous medical resources with limited results, Kosar discovered Dr. Rick Sponaugle, a "pioneer" in brain therapies who runs a wellness institute in Palm Harbor, Fla. Kosar claims through Sponaugle's "groundbreaking" work that his symptoms have improved, his brain is healing and he's feeling better than he has in years.

"It was a gift from God to find this and feel like this," Kosar said Thursday, opening up publicly for the first time about his affliction. "I see all the symptoms going away."
Kosar is spreading the word about his improved condition and his goal is to get help for former teammates and other ex-NFL players dealing with onset dementia, depression and other symptoms caused by playing an inherently violent sport only now coming to terms with the physical toll it has taken on thousands.

.....While Kosar was receiving treatments last month, he made an appearance on a Cleveland sports talk radio show in which he became emotional and slurred his words. Kosar sounded intoxicated, and some Browns fans surmised he was either drunk or over-medicated.

Kosar said he "wasn't exactly cognizant" of how the appearance came across. Sponaugle, however, wasn't surprised by it after reviewing several scans of Kosar's brain, rattled by years of being hit by defenders and having the back of his helmet s bounced off turf fields in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Houston he described as being as hard as "pavement."

"Once you get decreased blood flow," Sponaugle said, "you're in trouble. I knew why he was weepy. I've seen this in all kinds of people."



to watch Seau video and read rest of article and comments click here: http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/8833397/bernie-kosar-former-cleveland-browns-quarterback-finding-help-concussions

That's great to finally hear a "success" story like this.

Hamrob
01-11-2013, 07:04 AM
I don't think helmets have a lot to do with preventing concussions. They prevent other injuries to the head...but a helmet cannot stop the brain from moving aroundin the cranium upon impact...