Doctors confirmed that Demarius Thomas, the former NFL wide receiver, who was found dead at his home in December, was suffering from stage 2 CTE.
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is associated with symptoms including paranoia and depression. Physicians are Boston University’s CTE Center posthumously diagnosing Mr. Thomas.
The cause and manner of Mr. Thomas’ death has not been disclosed by the county medical examiner.
He was 33 years old when he died.
Thomas’ mother, Katina Smith, said in a statement that she suspected he may have been suffering from CTE in the last months of his life.
“As soon as I realized I had CTE and started recognizing the symptoms, I noticed Demarius was self-isolating and I saw other changes in him,” she said. “He was so young, and it was awful to see him struggle. His father and I hope all families learn the dangers of playing football. We don’t want other parents to lose their children like we did.”
Mr. Thomas’s cousin, Latonia Bonsignor, said to News agency Shortly after his death he was suffering from epileptic fits. She said he had been out of seizures for over a year, and eventually died during a seizure.
USA TODAY She reported that BU clinicians did not believe the seizures were related to CTE. Family members reportedly told them that his seizures started after he was involved in a serious car accident in Denver in 2019.
“He had two different cases at the same time,” said Ann Mackey, director of the BU CTE Center. New York times.
CTE has become a serious concern in professional football and other high-friction sports such as boxing. The condition can result from repetitive impacts on the head, which is common for athletes in both sports.
Boston University researchers found that chronic encephalopathy is present in 99 percent of the brains of former NFL players who were able to obtain and study it. They found that 91 percent of the brains of the college football players they studied were affected by CTE.