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Brain autopsies of 4 former football players reveal not all get chronic traumatic encephalopathy
Date:7/26/2011

Toronto, July, 26, 2011 Preliminary results from the first four brains donated to the Canadian Sports Concussion Project at the Krembil Neuroscience Centre, TorontoWesternHospital, reveal that two of the four former Canadian Football League (CFL) players suffered from a brain disease known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), while two did not show signs of CTE.

Bobby Kuntz, a former Toronto Argonaut and Hamilton Tiger-Cat and Jay Roberts, an Ottawa Roughrider both had a history of repeated concussions during their careers and showed the characteristic signs of CTE, an abnormal build-up of a protein called Tau in the brain, and other degenerative changes.

CTE can result in memory impairment, emotional instability, erratic behavior, depression, and problems with impulse control. CTE may eventually progress to full-blown dementia. Dr. Hazrati is very clear, however, to emphasize that the precise relationship between concussions and neurodegeneration remains to be demonstrated by future research.

Peter Ribbins, a former Winnipeg Blue Bomber, passed away in December 2010, at age 63 of Parkinson's disease. Autopsy results show he did not have signs of CTE. Tony Proudfoot, anall-star defensive back for the Montreal Alouettes, died at age 61 in 2011 of Lou Gehrig's disease (a neurodegenerative condition also known as ALS). Although a connection between ALS and repeated head trauma is being researched, Proudfoot did not have signs of CTE. Both of these players were in the league at a time when it was common to spear tackle with the crown of the head. According to the Canadian Football League Alumni Association (CFLAA), Proudfoot experienced repeated head trauma as a hard-hitting defensive back throughout his 12 seasons in the league.

Kuntz passed away in February 2011 at age 79 after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease and diffuse Lewy body disease, a condition that overlaps with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. Roberts
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Contact: Nadia Daniell-Colarossi
nadia.daniell-colarossi@uhn.on.ca
416-603-5294
University Health Network
Source:Eurekalert

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