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Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy announces new findings
Date:1/27/2009

former NFL player to be examined neuropathologically and not have CTE. Chris Nowinski, co-founder of the non-profit Sports Legacy Institute (SLI), explained, "This means 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."

According to Ann McKee, MD, CSTE co-director and a leading neuropathologist who specializes in degenerative brain diseases, "CTE has been described for approximately 80 years. Initially referred to as dementia pugilistica because of the boxers that were originally studied, CTE is now being seen in other athletes. Although the neuropathological findings of CTE are, in some ways, similar to those we see in Alzheimer's disease, they represent a distinct disease with a distinct cause, namely repetitive head trauma." McKee conducted the neuropathological analysis on the brains of both Grimsley and McHale. Her findings of significant CTE in their brains were independently confirmed by E. Tessa Hedley-Whyte, MD, professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School and a neuropathologist at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Due to the growing strength of these findings linking brain trauma on the football field to CTE, a number of living former NFL players have recently agreed to join three-time Super Bowl champion Ted Johnson and seven other former NFL players to donate their brains to Boston University School of Medicine upon death. The new donors include three members of the NFL's 88 Plan, joining Ralph Wenzel, another 88 Plan donor.

The 88 Plan was named after former NFL star John Mackey's jersey number. Mackey, a Hall of Fame tight end for the Colts in the 1960s and 70s, suffers from severe dementia. The plan was created by the NFL to provide families of former players who suffer from some form of dementia with money to support their care. Members of the Plan, by definition, have been diagnosed
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Contact: Gina DiGravio
gina.digravio@bmc.org
617-638-8491
Boston University
Source:Eurekalert

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