Dave Duerson had brain damage as a result of the hits he took over the course of his strenuous NFL career, researchers announced on Monday.
Prior to committing suicide in February, Duerson requested that his brain be studied in hopes that it could offer insight on the true ramifications of his time in the NFL. He believed that because of the hits he had sustained over the course of his 11+ season professional football career, he was suffering from some form of brain damage.
As it turns out, he was right.
Dr. Ann McKee of Boston University’s Center for Traumatic Encephalopathy told CBS News on Monday that it was “indisputable” that Duerson had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
"Dave Duerson had classic pathology of CTE and no evidence of any other disease," McKee said, "and he has severe involvement of all the (brain) structures that affect things like judgment, inhibition, impulse control, mood and memory."
Once known as “punch-drunk syndrome” because of its prominence among boxers, CTE is a degenerative brain disease that is associated with memory loss and depression. Over the past decade, an increasing number of CTE cases have been found posthumously in former athletes. A correlation between CTE and multiple concussions and head injuries had been identified in former NFL players Terry Long and Andre Waters.
Duerson was a four-time Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl champion during his time in the NFL.
More mental health information can be found on BrainPhysics.com