What Can Be Learned From Junior Seau's Death?

5:27 PM, May 3, 2012   |    comments
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WFMY -- Pick up a newspaper or tune into a newscast in San Diego, and you're going to see news of former football star Junior Seau.

He went beyond football to connect with his community, and they're crushed by his suicide.

Police tell us Seau shot himself in the chest. And there are people talking about the possible connection to the suicide of another NFL player last year.

Dave Duerson shot himself in the chest. He left a note saying he did it that way so doctors could examine his brain and learn about the effects of repeated hits and concussions.

We talked to an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at Wake Forest about the impact of these kinds of hits and what could be learned from Seau's death.

"Identifying the first signs of something going wrong I think is going to be the key and making sure that it's part of the educational process with the family and with the player because they really aren't themselves and something is going on within their brain," said Alex Powers. 

The big term is Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.

It's better known as CTE, and it is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in athletes with a history of repetitive brain trauma. The brain degeneration is associated with memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, depression and even dementia. 















WFMY News 2

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