Brain disease CTE found in 29-year-old soccer player

David Wang

The New York Times recently reported that chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative brain disease linked to repeated blows to the head, has been found posthumously in a 29-year-old former soccer player. 

David Wang, team physician at Quinnipiac University and medical director of Elite Sports Medicine at Connecticut Children's Medical Center, is available to comment. 

"Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a degenerative process of the brain that we are currently learning more about," he said. "This condition has been found postmortem in several American football players as well as being identified in boxing and wrestling. This article now demonstrates that CTE can be found in soccer players as well.  

"We believe that repetitive blows to the head are likely responsible for this condition. We also realize that not all football players nor soccer players develop the condition. In the future it might turn out that a certain genetic makeup might also have to be present in addition to the trauma to allow for the development of the condition. At this point we cannot yet state what the risks are, but it seems prudent to minimize blows to the head especially in the younger athlete where neurologic maturity has not yet been achieved."

To speak to Wang, please call John Morgan, associate vice president for public relations at Quinnipiac, at 203-206-4449 (cell) or 203-582-5359 (office).


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