Former Patriots RB Kevin Turner died from CTE in March, not ALS

Former Patriots RB Kevin Turner died from CTE in March, not ALS

If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article. Dr. Ann McKee says this is the strongest possible case showing a link between CTE and ALS.

McKee noted that 17 of the 91 players diagnosed with CTE thus far were originally believed to have died of ALS first.

"There's people there, not just brains", Tamara Alan, executive director of the Kevin Turner Foundation, said as she choked back tears to thank the researchers for their work. "While he had typical cognitive symptoms and problems with impulse control associated with CTE, it also appears that CTE decimated the motor cortex of his brain at a young age, likely leading to his ALS symptoms".

Former New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles fullback Kevin Turner spent the last several years of his life bringing awareness to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease, which doctors diagnosed him with in 2010.

The BU CTE Center, in conjunction with the VA Boston Healthcare System and Concussion Legacy Foundation, revealed their diagnosis after examining Turner's brain tissue, saying that Turner had the most advanced stage of CTE - stage IV out of IV. He played for three seasons in New England and spent the remainder of his eight-year National Football League career with the Eagles.

While much of the talk surrounding head safety in football is around concussions, researchers believe that CTE is a result of repeated hits to the head, which then result in a buildup of the abnormal protein tau.

"This is a totally preventable disease", McKee said.

Turner also created and served as president of the Kevin Turner Foundation, which seeks to show the potential connections between repeated brain trauma and Lou Gehrig's disease, which causes muscle weakness, paralysis and eventually respiratory failure. Per Daniel Kaplan of Sports Business Journal, attorney Deepak Gupta, representing the players in their appeal of the settlement in which Turner is a named plaintiff, called the center's findings, "a bombshell". The settlement would provide compensation for health care and free neurological and neuropsychological examinations. "'Look at me. I've been playing since I was 5, ' and turned out I was wrong", Turner said in the 2013 interview.

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