Thursday, May 3, 2012

Junior Seau

Hello, I was shocked yesterday after hearing of Junior Seau's suicide. He was a Professional Football player who ended his Career with my favorite football team, The Patriots. His 20 yr Career began with the San Diego Chargers. I couldn't understand at first why this player who seemed to have such a great life would want to commit suicide. Then as I listened to the news and heard many people speak about what they believed he may have suffered from, the condition called CTE, I decided to learn more about it. I learned the connection between CTE and suicide is that researchers have found that the inflammation in the brain caused by CTE, is the major reason that depression occurs which can often lead to suicide. Sadly, Athletes, who have developed high pain tolerance during their careers, may not not even be fully aware of the extent of the brain injuries. This condition is being studied more intensely due to the rise in suicides in professional players. There is no definite treatment for this condition from what I have read. The best that any player can do right now is to take the time to treat concussions and be aware of the signs. If you have a child or someone you know who plays sports, this is a condition that you should be aware of. Hopefully in time, this condition, CTE, having more research, will lead to better treatments in order to prevent the devastating effect of suicide on those who suffer from it.
Thanks for visiting,

Seau will be remembered as one of the greatest players in NFL history at any position, a 6-foot-3, 248-pound wrecking ball who made the Pro Bowl 12 years in a row and was voted All-Pro 10 times. He often veered from the script on the field, and that only made him more effective

What is CTE?
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in athletes (and others) with a history of repetitive brain trauma, including symptomatic concussions as well as asymptomatic subconcussive hits to the head. CTE has been known to affect boxers since the 1920s. However, recent reports have been published of neuropathologically confirmed CTE in retired professional football players and other athletes who have a history of repetitive brain trauma. This trauma triggers progressive degeneration of the brain tissue, including the build-up of an abnormal protein called tau. These changes in the brain can begin months, years, or even decades after the last brain trauma or end of active athletic involvement.

By 2009, only 49 cases of CTE had ever been studied pathologically and published in medical literature, so the disease is still poorly understood

Deterioration in attention, concentration, memory
Lack of insight
Poor judgment
Overt dementia
Slowed muscular movements
Staggered gait
Impeded speech

There are three stages of progression in CTE:
The first stage is characterized by its disturbances and psychotic symptoms.
In the second stage of the disease the patient may suffer erratic behavior, memory loss, and the initial symptoms of Parkinsons disease.
The final stage is full blown dementia as well as symptoms related to Parkinsons disease.

Treatment for CTE
Modern traditional medicine physicians are exploring the use of electric current in the brain. For example, there is an electrical treatment called “deep brain stimulation” which is currently being used to treat depression and various other illnesses such as epilepsy


  1. Hi Janet,

    As chilling as it is, this information is very welcomed.
    I've never been aware of this disease and when I first heard of it, due to Junior's unfortunate death, I actually didn't pay any attention to it, to my shame. But now I'll reconsider my view, of human body and its fragility. I've always thought a professional athlete is too strong to get beaten by any disease.
    Thanks for being such a sweet, caring person and raising awareness on this issue. One may never know when they encounter this kind of terrible disease.


    1. Thank you Petro, I'm glad that sharing this information helped you rethink what these athletes go through, it did the same for me. It seems his suicide is bringing more attention to CTE. Maybe his death will not be in vain.

  2. This was a very informative post on CTE. I had not realized the number of professions that may fall into a dangerous category for development of this disease.