Demarius Thomas’ family revealed on Tuesday that the former star was suffering from stage 2 CTE at the time of his death. Thomas was found dead at his Georgia home in December, just months after he retired from the NFL. He was 33 years old. The authorities have not released the cause of death.
CTE is at the center of the ongoing debate about player safety and head injuries in American football. Thomas is the latest in a long line of former professional athletes, including several former NFL players, to receive a diagnosis of CTE, which can only be made after his death.
The NFL has been involved in several head injury lawsuits in recent years. The Associated Press reported that in 2015 a judge approved a $1 billion settlement plan in which the league would compensate former players who suffered brain trauma.
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What is chronic traumatic encephalopathy?
CTE stands for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a progressive degenerative disease of the brain, According to Boston University’s CTE Research Center, which has led much of the research on the disease. According to Boston University, this condition is caused by a history of repeated blows to the head and appears months or even years after the head injury.
Athletes in a number of contact sports, including football, hockey and boxing, have been diagnosed with CTE over the years, according to Boston University. It was first observed in boxers in the early 1900s and was known as a drunken drunkenness symptom, according to Boston University. Formal diagnosis can only be made after death, after careful examination of the brain.
In 2017, Boston University researchers diagnosed CTE in 99% (110 out of 111) of former NFL players whose brains were donated to the study, USA TODAY reported.
The same study examined the brains of 202 soccer players at various levels of the game, including high school and college. USA TODAY reported that it found CTE in 87% of the players it studied.
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What are the symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy?
Symptoms include Memory loss, difficulty thinking, and behavioral changes such as impulsivity and aggressiveness, according to the Mayo Clinic. Depression, substance abuse, and suicidal thoughts and behavior are also associated with CTE, according to the Mayo Clinic.
How many stages of chronic traumatic encephalopathy?
There are four stages of CTE. The fourth stage is the most severe. people with Stage 1 CTE is often asymptomatic or reports mild short-term memory loss and depressive symptoms.According to a report on the National Institutes of Health website.
Stage 2 CTE can present with severe depressive symptoms and “behavioral outbursts,” according to the report.
In stage 3 and 4, patients experience cognitive impairment such as memory loss and poor spatial awareness, according to the report. Patients begin to struggle to speak, lose motor skills and experience severe psychotic symptoms in stage four, according to the report.
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Demaryius Thomas had a Stage 2 CTE
Thomas had stage 2 CTE. According to a press release from the Concussion Legacy Foundation, which helped with the diagnosis, Thomas suffered from depression, panic attacks, anxiety and memory problems in the years before his death. USA TODAY reports that the Fulton County medical examiner’s office has not yet released a cause of death or autopsy report.
Thomas began having frequent seizures in the lead up to his death, and A family member told the Associated Press last year His family believes that this was the cause of his death. This was noted in the press release issued by the Concussion Legacy Foundation on Tuesday Doctors believe his seizures are unrelated to the diagnosis of CTE and were likely the result of injuries sustained from a car accident and fall years ago. until his death.
“He had two different conditions at the same time” Ann Mackey, director of the CTE Center, told the New York Times.
What is the most common sport in CTE?
American football players and boxers are responsible for most confirmed cases of CTEAccording to a 2016 article in a medical journal on the National Institutes of Health website.
Is chronic traumatic encephalopathy curable?
There is currently no cure for CTE, but symptoms of depression and anxiety can be treated individually, according to the Boston University CTE Center.