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Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Robert A. M. Stern
The brain-shredding neurodegenerative disease took root in Junior Seau's brain before he shot himself in 2012. Same with Ray Easterling, who also took his own life last year. Dave Duerson pulled the trigger in 2011. Dozens of other former NFL players were diagnosed.
Lew Carpenter never had any concussions _ or at least none that his family knew about back in the 1950s and '60s, when he played for the Lions, Browns and Packers and there wasn't as much concern over them as there is now.
The researchers studying a degenerative brain disease in former athletes plan to test about 100 retired NFL players to try to learn how to diagnose the condition during life.
Dave Duerson, a former NFL player who committed suicide in February, had "moderately advanced" brain damage related to blows to the head, according to the researcher who made the diagnosis.
"There's such a fear out there amongst players, parents that getting your head hit is going to result in your becoming demented," Stern said. "And yet we don't know enough about this disease to educate parents, athletes, physicians, policymakers."
"They want to make sure this research moves forward as quickly as possible," Stern said. "Many of them ... want to make sure we're able to diagnose this disease while we're still alive. Some of them want to make sure they're doing something for their brethren and some for all those millions of kids out there who are playing football."