August 18, 2022

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Former Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas’ had CTE, his circle of relatives says

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BOSTON — Former NFL Professional Bowl huge receiver Demaryius Thomas is the newest in a rising record of soccer gamers recognized with CTE.

His circle of relatives stated Tuesday that researchers discovered that Thomas, who died in December at age 33, suffered from power nerve-racking encephalopathy. The four-time Professional Bowl huge receiver was once coping with despair, anxiousness and different CTE signs on the time of his dying.

CTE, a degenerative mind illness which will handiest be recognized posthumously, has been present in loads of former NFL gamers in addition to semi-pro and highschool football gamers. Corridor of Popularity linebacker Junior Seau had CTE when he died in 2012 of a gunshot wound to the chest.

Corridor of Famers Ken Stabler, Frank Gifford and Mike Webster additionally had been recognized with CTE.

Boston College CTE Heart researchers came upon that Thomas was once at level 2 following a mind learn about during the Concussion Legacy Basis. Thomas’ circle of relatives launched the findings of the learn about.

“When I changed into acutely aware of CTE and started to familiarize myself with the indications, I realized that Demaryius was once keeping apart himself and I noticed different adjustments in him,” Katina Smith, Demaryius’ mom, stated in a remark. “He was once simply so younger, and it was once terrible to peer him combat. His father and I am hoping all households be informed the hazards of enjoying soccer. We don’t need different oldsters to need to lose their kids like we did.”

Level 2 CTE is related to “modern conduct, cognitive and temper abnormalities.” Members of the family say Thomas evolved despair, anxiousness, panic assaults, and hassle along with his reminiscence within the years earlier than his dying. Level 4 is probably the most serious level of CTE and is generally related to dementia.

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“Like such a lot of that experience long past earlier than, we discovered level 2 CTE within the mind of Demaryius Thomas. The query I stay asking myself is ‘When will sufficient be sufficient?’ When will athletes, oldsters and the general public at massive forestall ignoring the hazards of American soccer and demand that the sport be modified to cut back subconcussive hits?” stated Dr. Ann McKee, leader of neuropathology for the VA Boston Healthcare Gadget and director of the BU CTE Heart and VA-BU-CLF/UNITE Mind Financial institution.

CLF co-founder and CEO Dr. Chris Nowinski organized the learn about via Thomas’ circle of relatives.

“The soccer group would do not know why such a lot of former gamers combat with neurological issues after their profession with out the households who say sure to mind donation, so I need to thank Bobby Thomas and Katina Smith — and all households — for his or her accept as true with in Dr. McKee and this staff,” stated Nowinski, a former soccer participant at Harvard. “I am hoping this can be a take-heed call to prime profile present and previous NFL gamers that CTE is rampant amongst them, and so they want to get occupied with developing actual answers. CTE must be their primary off-the-field factor.”

Thomas is certainly one of greater than 300 former NFL gamers who’ve been recognized with CTE by way of McKee and the BU CTE Heart analysis staff.

Thomas’ reason for dying has no longer but been known. In 2021, Thomas started experiencing seizures. McKee informed ABC Information she believes the seizures had been because of serious nerve-racking accidents off the soccer discipline, together with a automobile ruin and a fall on stone stairs.

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“CTE itself does no longer motive dying. You don’t die from CTE. What CTE does is it adjustments your conduct and your persona,” McKee stated.

Thomas performed 10 seasons within the NFL for the Denver Broncos, New York Jets, and Houston Texans. He gained a Tremendous Bowl with the Broncos and Peyton Manning following the 2015 season.

Thomas had 724 catches for 9,763 yards and 63 touchdowns.


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