Family of former NFL wide receiver Demaryius Thomas says he had CTE | Health, Medicine and Fitness

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BOSTON (AP) — Former NFL Professional Bowl vast receiver Demaryius Thomas is the most recent in a rising record of soccer gamers identified with CTE.

His household mentioned Tuesday that investigators discovered that Thomas, who died in December at age 33, suffered from continual traumatic encephalopathy. The four-time Professional Bowl vast receiver was coping with melancholy, nervousness and different signs of CTE on the time of his dying.

CTE, a degenerative mind illness that may solely be identified posthumously, has been present in a whole lot of former NFL gamers, in addition to semi-professional and highschool soccer gamers. Corridor of Fame linebacker Junior Seau had CTE when he died in 2012 from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Corridor of Famers Ken Stabler, Frank Gifford and Mike Webster have additionally been identified with CTE.

Researchers on the Boston College CTE Heart discovered that Thomas was in stage 2 after a mind examine by the Concussion Legacy Basis. Thomas’ household launched the examine’s findings.

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“As soon as I turned conscious of the CTE and began to develop into conversant in the signs, I observed Demaryius turning into remoted and noticed different modifications in him,” Katina Smith, Demaryius’s mom, mentioned in a press release. “He was so younger, and it was horrible to observe him battle. His father and I hope that each one households be taught the dangers of taking part in soccer. We do not need different mother and father to should lose their youngsters like we did.”

Stage 2 CTE is related to “progressive behavioral, cognitive, and temper abnormalities.” Members of the family say Thomas developed melancholy, nervousness, panic assaults and reminiscence issues within the years earlier than his dying. Stage 4 is essentially the most extreme stage of CTE and is often related to dementia.

“Like many who have gone earlier than, we discovered stage 2 CTE within the mind of Demaryius Thomas. The query I hold asking myself is ‘When will it’s sufficient?’ When will athletes, mother and father, and most people cease ignoring the dangers of soccer and demand that the sport be modified to cut back subconcussive blows? mentioned Dr. Ann McKee, chief of neuropathology at VA Boston Healthcare System and director of the BU CTE Heart and VA-BU-CLF/UNITE Mind Financial institution.

CLF co-founder and CEO Dr. Chris Nowinski organized the examine by the Thomas household.

“The soccer neighborhood would do not know why so many former gamers are scuffling with neurological problems after their profession with out the households saying sure to mind donation, so I wish to thank Bobby Thomas and Katina Smith, and all of the households, to your belief in Dr. McKee and this crew,” mentioned Nowinski, a former Harvard soccer participant. “I hope this can be a wake-up name to present and former high-profile NFL gamers that CTE is rampant amongst them, and they should become involved in creating actual options. CTE ought to be his primary drawback off the sector.”

Thomas is one among greater than 300 former NFL gamers who’ve been identified with CTE by McKee and the BU CTE Heart analysis crew.

Thomas’ reason behind dying has not but been recognized. In 2021, Thomas started experiencing seizures. McKee informed ABC Information that he believes the seizures had been as a result of severe traumatic accidents off the soccer area, together with a automotive accident and a fall on stone stairs.

“CTE itself doesn’t trigger dying. You do not die from CTE. What CTE does is change your habits and your persona,” McKee mentioned.

Thomas performed 10 seasons within the NFL for the Denver Broncos, New York Jets and Houston Texans. He received a Tremendous Bowl with the Broncos and Peyton Manning after the 2015 season.

Thomas had 724 catches for 9,763 yards and 63 touchdowns.

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