Aggression, explosivity linked to brain injuries:
A new study of brains donated after death details the degenerative brain disease that afflicted 68 of 85 subjects who suffered multiple concussions during stints in the military or in organized sports. Among the deceased athletes whose brains were examined for the study were NFL Hall of Famers John Mackey, a tight end, and running back Ollie Matson, both of whom died in 2011 of dementia complications.
Among those diagnosed post-mortem as suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, 26% were considered suicidal at some point in their lives, and at least seven ultimately took their own lives, the study found. In addition to difficulties with attention, memory and judgment, most of the affected subjects whose brains were examined by experts at Boston University also suffered from explositivity, aggressive tendencies, paranoia and depression.
More than one in three of the people whose brains were examined in the current study also had a diagnosis of another degenerative disease of the brain, including Parkinson’s Disease, Lewy body dementia, motor neuron disease, Alzheimer’s disease or frontotemporal lobar degeneration.