Former Chicago Bear, Dave Duerson’s Brain Damage Linked to Playing in the NFL

The Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University’s School of Medicine (CSTE) has confirmed that former Chicago Bear safety, Dave Duerson, had “moderately advanced” brain damage related to head injuries suffered while playing in the National Football League.

“It’s indisputable that Duerson had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a disorder linked to repeated brain trauma.” Dr. Ann McKee of CSTE said. “Duerson had classic pathology of CTE and no evidence of any other disease, and he has severe involvement of all the [brain] structures that affect things like judgment, inhibition, impulse control, mood and memory.”

CSTE is a collaboration between Boston University Medical School and the Sports Legacy Institute and has been researching sports related head trauma cases. They are also pushing for better treatment of concussions for both professional and amateur athletes.

Only 50 years old, Dave Duerson’s body was found in Sunny Isles Beach, FL, on February 17, 2011, after he shot himself in the chest. He had left a note asking that his brain be given to the NFL’s Brain Bank and it’s speculated the reason he shot himself in the chest was to preserve his brain for the Study.

Dave Duerson played his college football at Notre Dame University before being drafted in the third-round by the Bears in 1983. He played safety in the NFL for 11 seasons, seven with the Bears, and was selected to the Pro Bowls four times before he retired in 1993.

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