Research Finds Link Between Head Injuries And Lou Gerhig’s Disease

The report will air on HBO’s “Real Sports” Tuesday night.

Dr. Ann McKee said in an interview with the television magazine show that she found toxic proteins in the spinal cords of three athletes who had suffered head injuries and then later died of Lou Gehrig’s disease. The same proteins have been found in the brains of athletes who died from chronic traumatic encephalopathy which results from multiple blows to the head.

She was able to study the brains and spinal cords of ex-Minnesota Vikings linebacker Wally Hilgenberg, former Southern California linebacker Eric Scoggins and a boxer whose family asked that his name be kept private.

She found the toxic proteins in the spines of all three. The proteins were not present in the spines of athletes with CTE who didn’t have Lou Gehrig’s disease. Nor had she seen them in non-athletes who died of ALS.

Source: The Associated Press

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