Three former NFL players have been diagnosed with CTE or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. Tony Dorsett formerly of the Dallas Cowboys; Joe DeLamielleure of the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns and Leonard Marshall of the Giants, New York Jets and Washington Redskins have been evaluated for CTE after showing signs such as: memory loss, confusion, disorientation, depression and mood swings. The toll of pro-football is heavy in terms of the high number of former players who, in the course of their careers, experienced multiple concussions and in years following the end of their football career suffer from cognitive, emotional and psychological problems attributed to their football-related brain injuries.
We know that multiple concussions can cause CTE and football has become the epicenter of attention which may change the course of professional, college and high school football in America. But, with that in mind, as we turn to prevention of future cases of CTE through on-field medical assessment, treatment protocols and improving helmet safety, we also need to consider some other elements of the sport. Mr. Incognito’s behavioral dyscontrol and use as “the enforcer” may have taken advantage of his diminished behavioral controls and poor judgment which may relate to his own undiagnosed history of TBI’s. Although the focus is on punishing Mr. Incognito for his bullying behavior, I can’t help but wonder if he too has the beginnings of CTE and should be treated differently.
Tag lines: CTE, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, Tony Dorsett, Joe DeLamielleure, Leonard Marshall, concussion effects, psychological problems after concussion, memory loss after concussion, Incognito, football and brain injuries