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"A Terrible Thing To Waste" -Patricia Wen

  • The Boston Globe
  • New York, NY
  • (October 18, 2018)

CTE, a progressive degenerative condition, is believed to be caused by only one thing: repeated hits to the head. In other words, the kind of physical trauma that football players routinely endure. Diagnosing the disease requires removing the brain and analyzing its tissue, so it can only be confirmed after death. The violent life and death of football player Aaron Hernandez has become a case study in an emotionally charged debate. Samuel Gandy, MD, PhD, director for the Mount Sinai Center for Cognitive Health and NFL Neurological Care, unhesitatingly drew a link between Hernandez’s injured brain and his conduct. Dr. Gandy, an expert on head trauma, reviewed the scans made public by BU and described Dr. Hernandez’s brain as “ravaged” by CTE. The damage was so extreme; Dr. Gandy said that some connection between it and Hernandez’s actions is undeniable: “It’s impossible for me to look at the severity of CTE and Dr. Hernandez’s brain and not think that that had a profound effect on his behavior.”

- Samuel Gandy, MD, PhD, Professor, Neurology, Psychiatry, Associate Director, Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Director, The Mount Sinai Center for Cognitive Health and NFL Neurological Care

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