BOSTON — Former NFL Professional Bowl large receiver Demaryius Thomas is the newest in a rising record of gamers identified with CTE.
His household mentioned Tuesday that researchers discovered that Thomas, who died in December at age 33, suffered from power traumatic encephalopathy. The four-time Professional Bowl large receiver was coping with despair, nervousness and different CTE signs on the time of his demise.
CTE, a degenerative mind illness which might solely be identified posthumously, has been discovered in additional than 100 former NFL gamers in addition to semi-pro and highschool soccer gamers. Corridor of Fame linebacker Junior Seau had CTE when he died in 2012 of a gunshot wound to the chest.
Corridor of Famers Ken Stabler, Frank Gifford and Mike Webster additionally have been identified with CTE.
Boston College CTE Heart researchers found that Thomas was at stage 2 following a mind examine via the Concussion Legacy Basis. Thomas’ household launched the findings of the examine.
“As soon as I grew to become conscious of CTE and started to familiarize myself with the signs, I observed that Demaryius was isolating himself and I noticed different adjustments in him,” Katina Smith, Demaryius’ mom, mentioned in a press release. “He was simply so younger, and it was horrible to see him battle. His father and I hope all households study the dangers of taking part in . We don’t need different dad and mom to should lose their youngsters like we did.”
Stage 2 CTE is related to “progressive conduct, cognitive and temper abnormalities.” Members of the family say Thomas developed despair, nervousness, panic assaults, and bother along with his reminiscence within the years earlier than his demise. Stage 4 is probably the most extreme stage of CTE and is often related to dementia.
“Like so many who have gone earlier than, we discovered stage 2 CTE within the mind of Demaryius Thomas. The query I preserve asking myself is ‘When will sufficient be sufficient?’ When will athletes, dad and mom and the general public at massive cease ignoring the dangers of American and demand that the sport be modified to scale back subconcussive hits?” mentioned Dr. Ann McKee, chief of neuropathology for the 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 via Thomas’ household.
“The neighborhood would don’t know why so many former gamers battle with neurological issues after their profession with out the households who say sure to mind donation, so I need to thank Bobby Thomas and Katina Smith — and all households — for his or her belief in Dr. McKee and this staff,” mentioned Nowinski, a former participant at Harvard. “I hope this can be a wake-up name to excessive profile present and former NFL gamers that CTE is rampant amongst them, and they should get entangled in creating actual options. CTE must be their primary off-the-field situation.”
Thomas is considered one of greater than 300 former NFL gamers who’ve been identified with CTE by McKee and the BU CTE Heart analysis staff.
Thomas’ reason behind demise has not but been recognized. In 2021, Thomas started experiencing seizures. McKee advised ABC Information she believes the seizures have been resulting from extreme traumatic accidents off the soccer area, together with a automobile wreck and a fall on stone stairs.
“CTE itself doesn’t trigger demise. You don’t die from CTE. What CTE does is it adjustments your conduct 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 following the 2015 season.
Thomas had 724 catches for 9,763 yards and 63 touchdowns.
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