Chronic Traumatic Encelopathy (CTE) are words that for a long time you did not want to hear about the NFL. Now, the scientific community requests to have the brain of Phillip Adams (former 49ers, Patriots, Seahawks, Riders, Jets and Falcons) studied for CTE, well it could be a potential cause of the shooting that would have starred and in which he allegedly killed five people before committing suicide.
“It does not matter the number of concussions suffered in his life, but the number of blows received to the head, there is no cure. The CTE affects the ability to relate, you feel frustration, act impulsively and there is emotional instability “, points today the Dr. Hallie Zwibel, director of the New York Institute of Technology Center for Sports Medicine, to The New York Post. Adams’ father has even claimed that football “has ruined” his son’s life.
The relationship between the CTE cases and American football became known at the beginning of this century, after several years in which the NFL tried to silence the issue. The league viewed cognitive damage from heavy impacts during play as minor. In 1994, the first Committee on Mild Traumatic Brain Injury was created. with the Jets doctor as president. In his first interviews, he even downplayed the task that had been entrusted to him: “We believe that the issue of knees, drugs, steroids and drinking is a much bigger problem, depending on the number of incidents”said Dr. Elliot Pellman. That same year, Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, after the strong shocks of Troy Aikman and Merrill Hoge will lead to numerous questions from the press, he threw balls out and even blamed them for giving too much importance “to a very small number of cases.”
Things started to change In 1997, the day that Mike Webster, a historic center for the Pittsburgh Steelers, with whom he won four Super Bowls, filed a disability application with the NFL Retirement Board, claiming that his football career during his years in the league caused him dementia. In 1999, privately, the NFL accepted it and indemnified Webster with two million dollars.
The former player died of cardiac arrest at age 50, after many years suffering from various cognitive dysfunctions that led him to live in destitution, despite having been a great sports star. ‘Iron Mike’, as he was known, even he administered electric shocks to be conscious as little as possible of the day. Mike passed away in 2002 and his autopsy was practiced in Allegheny County, by the forensic neuropathologist doctor Bennet Omalu, the person who noticed in the brain of the former player some notable damage, which was impossible to detect by any living test.
Omalu had diagnosed the first CTE case. In later years the Nigerian doctor analyzed the brains of Justin strzelczyk (death in traffic accident) and Terry Long (suicide), and in 2005 he presented his first study, endorsed by other leading figures in neuroscience. The brain of Andre Waters in 2006, he was also examined by Omalu, whom they tried to silence and discredit.
The NFL insisted on not linking illnesses like dementia or Alzheimer’s to concussions. Finally, in 2009, the league’s spokesman admits that concussions can cause long-term brain damage. and measures are being taken, although rather timid. In 2011 CTE was detected in 21-year-old college gamer Owen Thomas, which caused quite a stir in the United States, as well as the suicide of dave duerson, that stuck shot in the chest and left a note saying he wanted his brain analyzed. It was also concluded that he suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encelopathy. The next scandal was the shooting, again in the chest, of Junior Seau, in 2012, which forced Commissioner Roger Goodell to get wet publicly.
The case of Phillip Adams may now be reminiscent of that of Jovan Belcher, 25, who as a Kansas City Chiefs player killed his girlfriend with a gunshot and then committed suicide. His remains were exhumed at the request of his family, although the latter did not make the results of the autopsy public. Although the most notorious incident is perhaps that of the popular wrestling wrestler Chris Benoit. In 2007, the Canadian murdered his wife and son, and then committed suicide hanging himself in his home gym. Benoit, who took his own life at the age of 40, had one of the most serious cases of CTE they have ever seen. According to the autopsy, his brain looked like that of an 80-year-old and was damaged in all sections.
It was always pointed out that boxers like Joe Louis or Sugar Ray Robinson could have suffered severe brain damage, and much has been speculated about the Parkinson’s at such a young age from Muhammad Ali, as well as his possible cognitive damages, never admitted by his family.