"We're finding 10 or 20 years after players stop playing football the thousands of hits to the head they've taken have started a degenerative process that's killing brain cells," said Chris Nowinski, a former World Wrestling Entertainment wrestler who himself retired after suffering the effects of multiple concussions.
Nowinski, also the co-founder of the non-profit Sports Legacy Institute, went on to indicate that “Six of six deceased former NFL players between the ages of 25 and 50 have had severe brain damage that, if they had lived, would have developed into debilitating dementia.
The six Nowinski referred to are former Tampa Bay Buchaneer Tom McHale, former Pittsburgh Steelers Mike Webster, Terry Long and Justin Strzelczyk, along with Andre Waters and John Grimsley. All of whom were found to have been suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease caused by head trauma. Although not included in the study former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson has also gone public about his post-concussion struggles. Johnson’s affliction was so bad after his NFL career that he struggled for years in day to day activities.
According to GEN, leading medical experts at the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy (CSTE) at Boston University School of Medicine released the information regarding Tom McHale. This same team of experts also indicated that they had found additional evidence of CTE in the youngest case to date, a recently deceased 18-year-old boy who suffered multiple concussions in high school football. The CSTE along with other research institutions focused their studies in identifying CTE in the brains of former football players.
Both Chris Nowinski and Ted Johnson are committed to generating more research about concussions. They will be at the Super Bowl recruiting more former professional athletes to donate their brains to science.
By: Alberto Ramos Cordero