Earlier today, ESPN's William Weinbaum and Steve Delsohn released a report that showed former NFL players Tony Dorsett, Joe DeLamielleure and Leonard Marshall had all shown signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. Over the past three months, Dorsett, DeLamielleure, Marshall and another unidentified former player underwent brain scans and clinical evaluations at UCLA. Through the use of a radioactive marker, the testing found signs of CTE, "a degenerative condition caused by head trauma and is linked to depression and dementia," according to Weinbaum and Delsohn.
The cause of CTE lies in a buildup of tau, "an abnormal protein that strangles brain cells in areas that control memory, emotions and other functions." As the ESPN piece points out, Junior Seau, the former NFL player who committed suicide last year, was found to have tau concentrations.
In the past, Dorsett admitted to getting lost when driving his two youngest daughters, 10 and 15, to their soccer and volleyball games, as well as repeatedly forgetting why he was taking an Oct. 21 flight from Dallas to Los Angeles. As it turns out, the trip was to test whether or not he had CTE. Sadly, Dorsett has also revealed that he struggles to control his emotions and even lashes out at his daughters and wife, which doctors initially diagnosed as being clinically depression.
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for CTE.
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