Research Paper

1807 words 8 pages
Andrew Okita
Dr. Feuerstein
ENG 100
4 April 2014
NFL Concussions and Their Long-Term Effects On May 2, 2012, the National Football League lost one of its elite players to suicide: Junior Seau. Seau played for the Chargers, Dolphins, and the Patriots during his professional football career and was a 12-time Pro Bowler before retiring in 2009. Three years after his retirement however, Seau committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest with a gun. This greatly shocked the football world and its image of Junior Seau as a person, but it soon realized the cause for his action. Shortly after Seau’s death, researchers examined Seau’s brain and found that it contained a disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy which is formed
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Grimsley shot himself by accident while he was cleaning his gun one day (Football Brains). The former NFL player was a skilled outdoorsman and should have easily performed the task of cleaning his gun. A second example is Justin Strzelczyk, who was a former offensive lineman for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Strzelczyk was involved in a high-speed hit-and-run chase with the police which turned into a fiery crash where he eventually died (Football Brains). Another example is former Canadian professional wrestler Chris Benoit who murdered his wife and child and then took his own life (Football Brains). The final example is Tom McHale, who was a former Tampa Bay Buccaneer. He died at the age of 45 from a drug overdose (Football Brains). All the brains of these former professional athletes were taken for study and all their brains were found to contain the brain disease CTE in them (Football Brains). Another study was done on the affects of repeated concussions causing CTE by Ann McKee. According to Ann McKee, who is a neuropathologist at Bedford VA Medical Center, “brains of patients with CTE have unique patterns of abnormal protein tangles and cell loss” (Hard Knocks: The Science of Concussions). Her study analyzed the brains of former athletes and war veterans who have experienced multiple brain injuries. McKee’s research showed that out of the 85 brains she has studied, 68 of the brains contained the brain disease CTE (Hard Knocks: The Science of Concussions). There is


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