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Sports Legacy Institute Announces Findings of Forensic Examinations on Wrestler Chris Benoit's Brain
Date:9/5/2007

Neuropathological Tests Find Evidence of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

Consistent with Numerous Brain Injuries

NEW YORK, Sept. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading medical experts associated with the Sports Legacy Institute today appeared with Michael Benoit, father of professional wrestler Chris Benoit, to release the results of neuropathological tests that demonstrate his son suffered from a type of brain damage called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), which was found in all regions of his brain. The Sports Legacy Institute (SLI), which oversaw and coordinated the testing, is an independent medical research organization dedicated to studying the long-term effects of head injuries in sports. SLI President Christopher Nowinski contacted Michael Benoit on June 28th, the Thursday after his son's death, to obtain permission to study the wrestler's brain. SLI's research has indicated there is a connection between the repeated head injuries suffered by many athletes involved in contact sports and an aggregation of abnormal Tau proteins in the brain, causing CTE. CTE's most common symptoms include depression, cognitive impairment, dementia, Parkinsonism and erratic behavior. Experts believe that CTE may have been a cause or contributing factor in the Benoit tragedy. While CTE has long been found in boxers, and more recently in NFL football players, the findings of CTE in Benoit suggest that athletes involved in other contact sports may also be at a heightened risk for this type of brain injury.

"When Chris Nowinski contacted me about conducting tests on Chris' brain, I was extremely hesitant given the circumstances surrounding my son's death," said Michael Benoit. "I agreed to the testing after he explained their desire to expand knowledge about the potential brain damage that athletes can suffer from repetitive head injuries in contact sports. When the results were explained to me by the SLI doctors, I was shocked to learn the extent of
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SOURCE Sports Legacy Institute
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