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Dave Duerson - suicide due to brain injury???

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Dave Duerson - suicide due to brain injury???

Postby stomperrob » Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:56 pm

What can be learned from Dave Duerson tragedy?
Published: Friday, February 25, 2011, 9:00 AM
By Peter Finney, Times-Picayune

At Boston University's Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, they are looking into the brain of Dave Duerson, who committed suicide last week at age 50.

Duerson shot himself in the chest.

He wanted his brain to survive.

"Please see that my brain is given to the NFL's brain bank," Duerson wrote in a suicide note.

Was Duerson, a defensive back on two Super Bowl champions, a victim of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease that has claimed the lives of other professional players?

Or was it perhaps due to his financial problems?

What will his brain tell us?

Duerson is the first player to hint that the knocks he took as a football player drove him to suicide. We also know he was one of more than 250 current and former athletes who have agreed to donate their brain and spinal cord to the study of CTE.

"Whatever Dave Duerson's brain tells us, he told the world plenty by what he did," said Dr. Mike Happel, a local neurologist. "We need more organ donors like him because we have so much to learn. What we've learned so far about CTE is due largely to the advances that have been made in Alzheimer's. I'm hoping the Duerson story will produce more organ donors. You can't have too many of those."

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more: http://www.nola.com/saints/index.ssf/20 ... duers.html

Possibly another example of how concussions can affect players years down the road - have to wait for autopsy to see. This topic was covered near the end of the Chris Benoit thread a few years ago:
viewtopic.php?t=328762&hilit=brain&start=130
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Re: Dave Duerson - suicide due to brain injury???

Postby m16a » Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:47 am

Stomper, very interesting article. Incredibly sad that it could have been the sport he loved that drove him to this. :,-( I'm glad he and others are willing to donate themselves for the sake of future discovery.
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Re: Dave Duerson - suicide due to brain injury???

Postby stomperrob » Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:17 pm

m16a wrote:Stomper, very interesting article. Incredibly sad that it could have been the sport he loved that drove him to this. :,-( I'm glad he and others are willing to donate themselves for the sake of future discovery.


Yeh it's sad - I know of at least 3 Steelers who have suffered severe mental health issues after retiring including Hall of Famer Mike Webster. Good that the NFL is addressing this issue, too bad it took so long.
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Re: Dave Duerson - suicide due to brain injury???

Postby stomperrob » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:03 pm

Interesting look at concussions in hockey, much of which applies to football players too:

Concussions: the untold story
FULL STORY: Eric Lindros and other pro hockey players on their depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts
by Cathy Gulli on Thursday, May 19, 2011 6:00am


Before there was Sidney Crosby, there was Eric Lindros. Both were hockey prodigies as young teenagers. Both were drafted first overall into the NHL. Both won the league MVP in their early 20s, both were captain of Team Canada at the Olympics, and both were hailed as the next Wayne Gretzky or Mario Lemieux. And then, in a fraction of a second, both fell victim to devastating concussions. The toll on Crosby, who has been sidelined since January, remains to be seen. But most fans know that Lindros was never the same after a series of blows to the head—at least eight by the time he retired in 2007. What few know, however—what he’s never talked about publicly before—is the psychological and emotional toll of those concussions.

That a Herculean hockey legend such as Lindros (he is six foot four and 255 lb.) is speaking out with disarming candour about the panic and desolation that he has endured is unprecedented. “You’re in a pretty rough-and-tumble environment with this sport. Talking about these things—you don’t talk about these things,” says Lindros. So while he was playing in the NHL, Lindros mostly kept his game face on. “You got to understand, you want to wake up in the morning and you want to look at yourself and say, ‘I’ve got the perfect engine to accomplish what I need to in this game tonight.’ You are not going to look in the mirror and say, ‘Boy, I’m depressed.’ ”

But there were signs that the concussions had transformed him, both as a man and a hockey player, for the worse. “I was extremely sarcastic. I was real short. I didn’t have patience for people,” says Lindros, 38. That rudeness mutated once he stepped on the ice into fear that the next concussion was just one hit away. “That’s why I played wing my last few years,” he explains of changing positions late in his career. “I hated cutting through the middle. I was avoiding parting the Red Sea.” Off the ice, Lindros developed a paralyzing sense of dread at the very thought of public speaking or of being in a crowd—once routine activities for the sports superstar. “I hated, absolutely hated, that. I’d avoid those scenarios. I didn’t like airports. I didn’t like galas. It would stress me out.”

Although he didn’t realize it at the time, Lindros now believes there is one explanation for the downslide: the concussions. “The anxiety started in the late 1990s, in the midst of them all. I never had it before,” Lindros says. And he thinks that “there’s a real strong correlation.” Even after he quit playing pro hockey and the physical symptoms of concussion (headaches, fatigue) were gone, the anxiety persisted. His weight ballooned; he gained 30 lb. He also realized that the “great deal of frustration” he felt about the politics of hockey was depressing him as well.

Over the years, Lindros tried different treatments, including psychotherapy, to overcome post-concussion syndrome, the term for long-lasting symptoms. That’s helped a lot, he says, but the anxiety has been hard to shake: “It wasn’t until this year that I said, ‘Screw it, I’m going to get back into this,’ and I started doing career-day talks at high schools” and participating in public events. He has not made this progress alone, though. Along with the support of friends and family, he has a mental health professional to lean on. “I have someone I can call, and I can pop over and see,” Lindros says, “And I do from time to time.”

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more: http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/05/19/conc ... old-story/
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