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CBS/istockphoto

A variety of high-profile former NFL players, including stars candid Gifford and Ken Stabler, have been diagnosed v CTE - a debilitating disease associated through head injuries - after your deaths. Lock are amongst a vanguard of agree athletes to have actually donated their brains to science in bespeak to advance the study on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

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Evidence is mounting that football football player risk more than bruises and broken bones; the repetitive head injuries and also concussions many pro athletes suffer have the right to lead come (CTE). The debilitating an illness is marked by depression, dementia, and other Alzheimer’s-like symptoms.

In 2015, researchers at Boston University shown CTE in the brains of 87 the end of 91 deceased former NFL football player tested. It affected players consisting of Junior Seau and Frank Gifford. “While we understand on typical that particular positions experience much more repetitive head impacts and are an ext likely at greater risk because that CTE, no place is immune,” Dr. Ann McKee, a professor that neurology in ~ Boston University, told the AP.


Ken Stabler

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Former Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler, the so late NFL and Super bowl MVP and also a finalist for the agree Football hall of Fame, had actually the mind disease CTE, Boston university researchers claimed February 3, 2016.

Stabler, who died of colon cancer at period 69 in July 2015, had Stage 3 chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Dr. Ann McKee told The associated Press. The previous football star called his family members he wanted his brain studied after finding out that previous NFL linebacker junior Seau to be diagnosed through the disease. Seau shot himself in the chest and also died at age 43. The an illness can only be diagnosed after ~ death.

“What is interesting around Ken Stabler is that he anticipated his diagnosis year in advance,” kris Nowinski, the founder that the Concussion tradition Foundation, said the AP. “And even though he’s a football icon he began actively distancing self from game in his final years, express hope that his grandsons would select not to play.”


Tyler Sash

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Charlie Neibergall/AP

Former Iowa soccer star Tyler Sash, who later on played two periods as a safety for the new York Giants, was discovered dead in ~ his residence of an accidental overdose that pain medication at the age of 27 ~ above September 8, 2015.

His household announced, January 27, 2016, that representatives native Boston University and also the Concussion Legacy structure found Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in his brain.

According come the new York time Sash had been cut by the Giants after ~ what was at least his fifth concussion and the an illness had advanced to a stage hardly ever seen in someone the age.


Frank Gifford

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AP picture

NFL room of Famer and TV sports commentator candid Gifford, that played because that the new York Giants because that 12 years beginning in 1952, died in respectable 2015 in ~ the age of 83. Gifford ended up being one of the highest profile previous NFL football player to be called as having CTE.

His household revealed in November 2015 that Giffford suffered from concussion-related brain disease. Gifford"s household said they doubt he"d to be "suffering from the debilitating effects of head trauma" while he to be alive.


Mike Webster

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"Iron Mike" Webster assisted the Steelers win 4 Super Bowls in the 70"s. ~ leaving the game, he suffered depression and also dementia, dice in 2002 in ~ the age of 50. He became the an initial apparent instance of "footballer"s dementia" for brain Injury research Institute (BIRI) pathology Dr. Bennett Omalu (who to be later depicted by will certainly Smith in the movie "Concussion"). Webster"s mind was claimed to have been through the equivalent of "25,000 vehicle crashes" over his 25 year of play football in high school, college, and also the NFL.


Dave Duerson

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Safety Dave Duerson won a Super bowl as part of the 1985 bears defense. In February 2011, Duerson, 50, texted come his ex-wife Alicia an odd request: "Please, view that my mind is provided to the N.F.L."s mind bank." once Duerson"s body to be found, there to be a handwritten suicide keep in mind repeating the request. "I think David knew that inside of the there to be something wrong," Alicia said the new York Times. Duerson"s household complied through his last request, donating his mind to the center for the study of Traumatic Encephalopathy (CSTE). In might 2011, doctors at the CSTE shown Duerson had actually "indisputable evidence" the CTE.


Chris Henry

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Andy Lyons/Getty images

Bengals broad receiver kris Henry"s fatality - ~ falling from a truck throughout a domestic conflict in 2009 - shocked soccer fans. An autopsy by the BIRI found that the 26-year-old had actually chronic traumatic encephalopathy."I to be surprised in a method because that his age and also because he was not well-known as a concussion sufferer or a huge hitter. Is over there some lower threshold when you end up being at threat for this disease? I"m struggling to check out if something have the right to come out positive out that this," Dr. Julian Bailes the the BIRI grimly said the new York Times.


Justin Strzelczyk

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Strzelczyk was an attack lineman through the Steelers for eight seasons. In 2004, he passed away in a automobile crash after acquisition police on a high-speed chase, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. Toxicology reports verified no proof of medicine or alcohol in the 36-year-old"s body. For this reason what caused his erratic behavior? Strzelczyk"s family members donated his mind to the brain Injury research study Institute. Dr. Ronald Hamilton the the college of Pittsburgh told the brand-new York Times, "If ns didn"t understand anything around this case and I looked in ~ the slides, i would have actually asked, "Was this patient a boxer?""


Terry Long

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AP Photo/File

Long played right guard because that the Steelers indigenous 1984 come 1991. In 2005, when he to be 45, he killed himself by drink antifreeze, the Pittsburgh post Gazette reported.

The brain Injury research Institute check his mind and saw proof of damage that could well have contributed to his suicide. "Terry lengthy committed suicide due to the chronic traumatic encephalopathy because of his irreversible play." Dr. Bennet Omalu said the newspaper.


Andre Waters

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Waters was regarded as one of the league"s hardest-hitting protective backs throughout his career v the Philadelphia Eagles. The committed suicide in 2006, at the period of 44.

An autopsy proved that his mind tissue to be comparable to that of one 85-year-old"s Alzheimer"s patient, Dr. Bennet Omalu said the brand-new York Times. "If Waters had actually lived an additional 10 to 15 years, that would have been "fully incapacitated," Omalu said.


John Grimsley

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When previous Houston Oilers linebacker john Grimsley passed away in 2008 at the age of 45, his mam donated his mind to the center for the examine of Traumatic Encephalopathy. An autopsy revealed brain abnormalities typically seen in yonsei Alzheimer"s patients. The website compares slides the Grimsley"s mind tissue come those of a 73-year-old ex-boxer.


Junior Seau

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Junior Seau, one of the NFL"s best and also fiercest players for virtually two decades, had a degenerative brain disease as soon as he committed self-destruction in may 2013, the nationwide Institutes of health revealed.

Results of an NIH research of Seau"s brain revealed abnormalities continuous with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The NIH, based in Bethesda, Maryland, conducted a research of three unidentified brains, among which was Seau"s. It claimed the result on Seau were similar to autopsies of civilization "with exposure to repeated head injuries."


Ray Easterling

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AP Photo/File

Atlanta Falcons safety and security Ray Easterling, who assisted lead the team"s vaunted defense in the 1970s and later filed a high-profile lawsuit versus the NFL targeting the league"s handling of concussion-related injuries, committed self-destruction on April 19, 2012, in Richmond, Va. He was 62.

after his career, he endured from dementia, depression and insomnia, according to his wife, mar Ann. One autopsy in 2012 revealed the Easterling suffered from CTE.


Ralph Wenzel

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AP photograph

Ralph Wenzel, that played guard for the Pittsburg Steelers and San Diego Chargers because that seven periods in the 60s and also 70s, passed away in June 2012 from complications of dementia, according to his wife, Eleanor Perfetto. He to be 69. Follow to the brand-new York Times, Wenzel started having signs of early-onset dementia - memory lapses and other cognitive problems - at period 52 in 1995. The previous player"s condition ended up being so major he quit working together a teacher and coach and also was institutionalized in 2006.

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Wenzel"s brain is among an ext than 100 that have been donated to the Boston University mind bank. His case was disputed at a October 2009 home Judiciary Committee hearing.