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Former NFL star Demarius Thomas had a CTE, the family says

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Demaryius Thomas #88 of the Denver Broncos warms up before the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 24, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.
Denver Broncos' Demarius Thomas # 88 before the AFC Championship Game with the New England Patriots Warm up. Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado, January 24, 2016.Photo courtesy of Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Boston (AP) — Former NFL star Demarius Thomas He died last December at the age of 33, his family said on Tuesday.

Researchers at the Boston University CTE Center diagnosed four ProBowl Wide Receivers with Stage 2 Dementia Pugilistia following a brain study by the Concussion Legacy Foundation. did. The Thomas family published the results of the study.

"As I noticed the CTE and began to get used to the symptoms, I noticed that Demarius was isolated and he saw other changes," Demarius' mother Katina Smith said in a statement. It is stated in. "It was scary to see him struggling because he was so young. His father and I hope all families learn the risks of playing football. So, no other parent needs to lose their child. "

Stage 2 CTE is associated with" progressive behavioral, cognitive and mood abnormalities. " The family says they developed depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and memory problems in the years before Thomas died. Stage 4 is the most severe stage of CTE and is usually associated with dementia.

"Like many people I've been to, I found a Stage 2 CTE in Demaryius Thomas's brain. I keep asking myself. What we are doing is "when is it enough?" When do athletes, parents, and the general public insist on stopping ignoring the risks of American football and changing the game to reduce subcontractive hits? "Dr. Ann McKee, Head of Neuropathology for the VA Boston Healthcare System and Director of the BUCTE Center and VA-BU-CLF / UNITE Brainbank, said.

CLF co-founder and CEO Dr. Chris Nowinski arranged the study through the Thomas family.

"Bobeat-mass and Katina Smith, and all I want to thank my family — for the trust of Dr. McKee and this team, ”said Harvard former soccer player Noinsky. "This is a wake-up call to the current and previous NFL players that are rampant and in the spotlight of the CTE, and hope they need to be involved in creating the actual solution. It should be their number one off-field problem. "

Thomas is a former NFL player with over 300 people diagnosed with CTE by McKee and the BUCTE Center research team. I'm alone.

The cause of Thomas' death has not yet been identified. In 2021, Thomas began to experience seizures. McKee told ABC News that he attributed the seizures to serious injuries at the football field, such as a car accident and a fall on a stone staircase.

"CTE itself does not cause death. You do not die in CTE. What CTE does is change your behavior and personality," McKee said.

Thomas played for the Denver Broncos, New York Jets, and Houston Texans NFL for 10 seasons. He won the Super Bowl at Broncos and Peyton Manning following the 2015 season.

Thomas made 724 catches with 9,763 yards and 63 touchdowns.

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