Seminole State College
After the suicide of NFL player Junior Seau last May and the murder-suicide of Kansas City Cheifs player Jovan Belcher, the issue of head trauma and the long term effects it has on players in the NFL has become a very hot topic in the sports and medical field. While the cause of Belcher’s depression has not been diagnosed as caused by any specific disease, the official diagnosis of what made Seau end his life has been cited as CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) (Zeigler, 2012). CTE is a progressive neurodegenerative brain disease which is caused by repetitive head trauma, such as concussions (SLI, 2012). CTE is known to cause depression, severe mood swings, …show more content…
Not only that, but two of the players were over the age of sixty, both showing the normal amount of memory loss and depression for men of that age (Kroll, 2013). Much more research needs to be done on living players, both currently playing and retired, in order to find a definite way to diagnose and hopefully one day treat those NFL players with CTE and other similar head trauma (Fainaru, 2013). But more importantly, in a sport that is all about being aggressive and physical, it seems almost impossible to completely avoid the head trauma and concussions that cause CTE, so even if we can diagnose it and treat it, it may never be avoidable in the NFL.
Conclusion and Future Study As of now, over 40 former NFL players have been confirmed to have suffered with CTE up until their death (Lupkin, 2012). Also, it has been confirmed that many living NFL players are living with CTE right now (Kroll, 2013). While no way to reverse the effects has been thought of yet, research is slowly progressing in detecting it earlier on (Kroll, 2013). The NFL is attempting to work with various institutes to study CTE and hopefully prevent it as much as possible in their players. They have been providing counseling to former players now dealing with depression, memory loss, and other key symptoms. However, there is no way to clearly see the future affects that CTE research will have on the NFL and the game of football.