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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wear a helmet people!

Dead athletes' brains show damage from concussions

By Stephanie Smith
CNN Medical Producer

(CNN) -- For years after his NFL career ended, Ted Johnson could barely muster the energy to leave his house.

In healthy brain tissue, virtually no protein tangles, which show up as brown spots, are visible.

"I'd [leave to] go see my kids for maybe 15 minutes," said Johnson. "Then I would go back home and close the curtains, turn the lights off and I'd stay in bed. That was my routine for two years.

"Those were bad days."

These days, the former linebacker is less likely to recount the hundreds of tackles, scores of quarterback sacks or the three Super Bowl rings he earned as a linebacker for the New England Patriots. He is more likely to talk about suffering more than 100 concussions.

"I can definitely point to 2002 when I got back-to-back concussions. That's where the problems started," said Johnson, who retired after those two concussions. "The depression, the sleep disorders and the mental fatigue."

CNN story is here...


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