Many studies have revealed that military members, boxers, and football players, such as Kevin Turner, who suffered many blows to their heads developed damaged brain tissues. Moreover, researchers made countless of efforts to raise awareness about the risks of concussions hoping to convince sports officials to address the issue.
During the latest medical conference, which took place at the Boston University on Thursday, doctors announced that Kevin Turner, the former Eagles and Patriots fullback, was one of the many CTE casualties.
It is worth mentioning that many family members of players with CTE were present at the conference. According to Tamara Alan, Kevin Turner Foundation executive director, football players are people, not only brains, so they need to know what they are getting themselves into.
As Turner’s parents also participated at the conference, Ann McKee, an experienced neuropathologist, explained that the former NFL star suffered from the most violent form of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), which is a deadly brain disease related to repeated concussions.
McKee further added that Turner died when he was just 46 because CTE most likely led to Lou Gehrig’s disease which proved to be lethal. She stresses that Turner’s CTE has been one of the most severe forms ever encountered into an athlete who died so young.
This devastating disease has been related to repeated blows to the head and diagnosed in several hundred former American football players. CTE can cause Lou Gehrig’s disease, called ALS or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Although McKee’s slides present strong evidence of ALS and CTE in the player’s brain, an autopsy cannot reveal whether CTE led to ALS or not, meaning that these slides represent the most relevant proof.
Turner was an NFL football player eight years for Philadelphia and New England. Later in 2010, he received an ALS diagnosed and decided to donate his brain to the Concussion Legacy Foundation. ALS usually causes respiratory failure, paralysis, and muscle weakness.
Other studies reveal that football is especially dangerous for children because their brains haven’t fully developed yet. Especially football coaches stress that tackle football is very dangerous.
McKee underlined that Kevin Turner experienced some symptoms related to CTE such as impulse control and cognitive difficulties. Also, his brain’s motor cortex was damaged by the disease while he was still young, thus increasing the risks of developing ALS.
Image Source: CDN