Patriots Running Back Had ‘Unprecedented’ Degree Of CTE When He Died

Patriots Running Back Had ‘Unprecedented’ Degree Of CTE When He Died

Kevin Turner died in March. He had initially been diagnosed with ALS in 2010.
died in March of what was initially considered complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. But in a press conference Thursday, Dr. Ann McKee, the director of Boston University’s CTE Center, said Turner did not in fact have ALS. Rather, his advanced CTE was causing similar symptoms.

“The severity of Mr. Turner’s CTE was extraordinary and unprecedented for an athlete who died in his 40s,” McKee said in a news release.

Turner began playing football at the age of 5. Researchers who studied his brain believed the length of his career contributed to the development of the CTE. Research has shown that the length of a player’s career could be a key factor in the development of the disease later on.

“We believe the extreme severity of Kevin Turner’s disease is related to his 25-season career, and the fact he began playing tackle football at age 5, while his brain was still rapidly developing and more vulnerable,” said Dr. Robert Cantu, a Boston University neurosurgeon.

Turner was a plaintiff in the class-action lawsuit that more than 4,500 former players brought against the NFL, claiming that it mishandled concussion treatment and withheld information about the long-term effects of the injuries from players. The league reached a settlement of the lawsuit in 2015, but some players have since appealed.

Turner pledged to donate his brain to CTE research in 2010, when he was initially diagnosed as having ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. He believed football had contributed to the development of the neurological disease.

“While learning the results has been devastating to Kevin’s family and those of us close to him, unfortunately, we cannot say we are surprised,” said Tamara Alan, the executive director of the Kevin Turner Foundation, which Turner founded in 2010 to raise awareness about ALS and brain trauma. “We will continue to honor Kevin’s wishes that we bring attention to this devastating disease.”

More than 95 percent of the donated brains of former NFL players showed signs of CTE in a 2015 study conducted by Boston University and the Department of Veterans Affairs.


Related Coverage
Will Smith Disappointed 'Concussion' Didn't Have More Impact On NFL Eugene Monroe Retires Early Over Concussion Fears Concussions in Modern Sports (and How to Stop Them)



Add Comment

all comments

  Other news

more
NOAA: U.S. island coral reefs at risk for bleaching, death

NOAA: U.S. island coral reefs at risk for bleaching, death..

25-Jun, 18:19

In this Aug. 21, 2016, file photo, Whitney Hoot, National Oceanic and...

Chelsea Manning joins first pride march since prison release

Chelsea Manning joins first pride march since prison release..

25-Jun, 21:00

This undated file photo provided by Chelsea Manning shows a portrait of...

Tourist boat sinks on Colombia reservoir

Tourist boat sinks on Colombia reservoir..

25-Jun, 17:30

A boat with about 150 tourists on board has sunk in north-western...

What is a robo-adviser and is one right for you?

What is a robo-adviser and is one right for you?..

25-Jun, 16:31

Robo-advisers are angling to replace human financial advisers, at least...

Congress Will Pay for Trump's $12B Border Wall, Say McConnell, Ryan

Congress Will Pay for Trump's $12B Border Wall, Say McConnell, Ryan..

26-Jan, 11:22

House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said...

Up, up and away: Passenger-carrying drone to fly in Dubai

Up, up and away: Passenger-carrying drone to fly in Dubai..

13-Feb, 11:32

Up, up and away: Dubai hopes to have a passenger-carrying drone regularly...

China premier pledges: 'We will make our skies blue again'

China premier pledges: 'We will make our skies blue again'..

04-Mar, 22:55

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has pledged to make the country's skies blue...

Target rattles Wall Street with weak quarter, outlook

Target rattles Wall Street with weak quarter, outlook..

28-Feb, 06:55

Target Corp. on Tuesday reported fiscal fourth-quarter net income of $817...