CTE, TBI, and the NFL: How The Movie Concussion Started A National Conversation

“Repetitive head trauma chokes the brain.”

So says Dr. Bennet Omalu, the forensic pathologist at the heart of the film Concussion, played by Golden Globe-nominated actor Will Smith. Omalu’s journey to discovering CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, began in 2002 while performing an autopsy on former Pittsburgh Steeler football player Mike Webster, who died at the age of 50. Post-NFL retirement, Webster suffered from amnesia, dementia, depression, and other unexplained cognitive and emotional difficulties. In his study of Webster’s brain, Omalu found large amounts of tau protein, a substance associated with neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.        Continue Reading

Family of Steve Montador Sues the NHL Due to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

According to a wrongful death lawsuit filed by lawyers for a professional athlete, his family claims that the National Hockey League’s encouragement of on-ice fights induced Steve Montador to continue behaviors that ultimately led to his death.

When a scan of this career hockey player’s brain revealed he suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the wrongful death lawsuit was filed against the NHL and the NHL Board of Governors. Montador, a former hockey player with the Blackhawks, was found dead in his home almost a year ago.        Continue Reading