Neurologist, Former NFL Player React to CTE Findings

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO)- A new study reveals that an alarming number of former football players had a neurological disease that may have impacted their quality of life.

A Boston University report suggests CTE, a degenerative disease, is more common in football players than previously believed.

“CTE is an abbreviation for chronic traumatic encephalopathy. It essentially indicates brain damage which one suffers from chronic, repetitive trauma to the brain, mainly from being concussed,” said Dr. Souvik Sen, Chair of USC School of Medicine’s Department of Neurology.

John Javis is a former NFL quarterback and receiver for the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks. He currently works as a coach and athletic coordinator in the Midlands. He said he tells his players to speak up when they feel injured.

“I understand it now that you’re not less of a man if you tell somebody that you’re hurt. Tell them, ‘Look, I’ve got a headache, or backache. Tell somebody you’re hurt. Instead of going back to the huddle and keeping it going. That makes it worse,” said Javis.

Although many of the players in this study were pro-athletes, three high school players were found to have CTE also. With football season right around the corner, experts advise parents and coaches to keep an eye on the players who get concussions. CTE can only be diagnosed after an autopsy. Javis says he intends on having his body studied when his time comes.

“Are they exhibiting symptoms of lack of coordination, dizziness, headaches, memory problems or not paying attention? If they do experience these symptoms, I think it’s very important that they go through an assessment and that would be either by a neurologist or a neuropsychologist,” said Sen.

CTE can only be diagnosed after an autopsy. Javis says he intends to have his body studied when his time comes.


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