Multiple links are found regarding the suicide of NFL's Junior Seau, with implications being that it was due to traumatic brain injuries caused by concussions and; the more the news has been shared, the more people, like Navy SEAL Pete Scobell, are stepping up and sharing their experiences on rehabilitation.
A brain injury is precisely what multiple sclerosis (MS) is, as the majority of lesions found in patients are in the brain, with a low number, approximately 35 percent, having only spinal lesions, and having a spotlight shining on all the aspects of brain injuries can only lead to better ways to deal with them.
“Since you published that article about our depression possibly being physical more than psychological, I have been wondering if this would catch the attention of others, besides those original researchers in California, that is,” says Sierra Blankenship of Lima, Ohio.
“Our group has such a high percentage of depression, which carries with it the weight of possible suicide, and as unfortunate as Seau's death is, my heart goes out to his family, his being famous helps those who are in the know, to see just how important a discussion is needed on dealing with it.”
Reports are that Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) have shown up in the brains of multiple former athletes that have killed themselves, with former Chicago Bears Dave Duerson being one of them, and it has become troubling because no one is quite sure why there is this apparent link.
The director of Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute, Dr. John Whyte, says, “Exactly how the brain damage causes mood disturbance is not clear. There could be biological changes going on, or changes in the neurotransmitters that affect mood, or it could be a psychological factor that this brain injury has disrupted work and family life so much that it has really changed your life.”
With those who have MS, researchers at UCLA in 2010 were able to show atrophy of the hippocampus in patients with the disease and the physicality of depression, which is why CTE and MS are so incredibly alike; the pathology of CTE includes reduction in brain weight due to atrophy as well.
Pete had brought up the Center for BrainHealth at UT Dallas and how they were able to show him new ways to deal with his difficulties, saying he was able to regain confidence after having to deal with all types of problems, “It becomes – overtime things start happening, and you notice little things here and there. I’m having difficulty taking information out of an email; I’m having difficulty remembering articles that I needed for work. You know, if you leave for work six times, and you leave your keys and your wallet and your badge, you start wondering if this is a trend. You get frustrated to the point of the anger, and because of that you start questioning yourself, and what if you have everything all together.”
He shared how much better life has gotten for him, though, and that he has seen such an improvement. He is “really looking forward to this system becoming more available to the public” but, as it is still in research phrase, eyes will have to be on the lookout for future news regarding this.
As far as Seau, it is still very much up in air as to whether his family will donate his brain to science. If they do, and they find CTE, it will help steps to be taken that could effect a great many people who need help so badly.
Sources: http://www.ehow.com/facts_5519121_spinal-cord-lesions-ms-symptoms.html; http://deutermanlaw.com/resources-for-injured-people/brain-injury/a-brain-injury-and-suicide-connection; http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/05/seau-family.html
For more info: for those who live in Lima, Ohio, the Northwestern Ohio MS Chaptercan be reached at: 401 Tomahawk Drive, Maumee, OH at (419) 897-7263. They are located approximately an hour and a half from Lima, Ohio and 45 minutes from Findlay, Ohio. For directions please click here at Bing Maps.
Follow Lori Friend on Twitter