Memory loss. Moodiness. Increasingly erratic and sometimes overly aggressive behavior. Speech difficulties. Movement disorders like tremors and gait disturbances. Eventually,  dementia. These symptoms could describe Alzheimer’s disease, an illness that is becoming increasingly well-known to the public as a disease of older adults. But when the symptomatic person is younger and an athlete, the illness could be chronic traumatic encephalopathy, CTE. CTE apparently is what 1987 NFL Man of the Year Award-winner Dave Duerson feared before his suicide early this year. The 50-year-old former Chicago Bears safety who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest left a note asking that his brain be “given to the NFL’s brain bank.” The reference is to the brain bank registry at Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, CSTE. Stained whole brain section with immuno- staining for tau protein. Note the preferred deposition in the mesial temporal lobe structures.Through his work with the football players union, Duerson probably had become aware of CTE and other cases of retired players who had suffered from CTE-like…
Read More…