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DID YOU KNOW?

About HALF of all individuals who suffer from a brain injury (includes concussions) suffer from depression within one year of the injury.

TWO-THIRDS of all people with brain injuries (including concussions) develop depression within seven years.

COMPARED TO ONLY 10% RATE OF DEPRESSION IN THE GENERAL POPULATION. (University of Washington TBI Model System)

Dementia risk is SIX times higher in retired football players. (WebMD: Football Tackles Concussion Risk)

Twelve years ago, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman retired after suffering the tenth concussion of his Hall of Fame career, the result of a vicious hit from Washington Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington. Aikman since has become a successful broadcaster, a man who owes much to football. After the Super Bowl in February, however, he said that the sport was “at a real crossroads. . . . If I had a ten-year-old boy, I don’t know that I’d be real inclined to encourage him to go play football in light of what we’re learning from head injuries.”

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In January 2012, I heard about Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in passing and regret I didn’t learn more about it then — as it was the disease that took my brother’s life three months later when he killed himself. 

I invite you to read about Sean O’Malley, my brother, a world-famous motivational fitness coach, the Cardio Coach – a former Ole Miss All SEC football player – a gem of a man who was consumed by this horrible disease.

Although this site is dedicated to Sean, my heart and energy is focused on you – the friends, the family, the individuals who are wondering if CTE is causing the mood swings, the behavior changes, the physical and neurological problems, the depression, the progressive degeneration in body, mind and spirit.

Please don’t ‘ignore’ this epidemic.  Yes bruises and bones heal, but it’s becoming apparent, our brains don’t and the symptoms may wait years to manifest.

“Concussions don’t have to knock a person out cold to cause brain damage. A couple of good tackles in a contact sport can cause damage that can affect a person’s ability to process emotions and information later in life.  Even mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) that show no signs of structural damage whatsoever, are no laughing matter; Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a long-term result of one or more mild or moderate TBI.  Both neurological disruptions are causing depression, anxiety and increased risk of suicide in athletes and soldiers.” source

There is NO way to diagnose CTE until death … HOWEVER … there are common symptoms and indicators that can help with identification.  –UPDATED 1/23/13:  Diagnosis is possible before death: http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/22/16646308-game-change-brain-scans-offer-new-view-of-nfl-concussions?lite&ocid=msnhp&pos=1

There is NO established cure for CTE  … HOWEVER … there are treatments that are showing progress.

Heads Up! CTE is dedicated to:

  • spreading awareness about CTE
  • reporting the latest research and findings
  • providing insight and shared experience about treatment options and resources
  • creating a village of support for those of us who are concerned about the impact of head injuries already experienced by ourselves and/or our loved ones

We do not offer treatment, diagnosis or medical advice.  We provide resources and information to help support those impacted by sports-related head trauma.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Kay Priddy permalink
    August 17, 2012 7:55 pm

    Great site, Colleen. Thanks for the valuable information!

  2. jen permalink
    October 5, 2012 7:20 pm

    Very informative! As someone who works out “with” Sean, this is very helpful. I miss him.

  3. Fred Rock permalink
    July 30, 2013 1:41 pm

    I had the pleasure many years ago to meet you and Sean w/ my former wife Joanne Bucci Sullivan w/ our son Michael. Joanne, as you probably recall was a baby sitter for you guys when you were little and lived in Tallahassee.
    I was not aware of your loss and was nearly devasted when I just found out today.
    I look forward to seeing you guys soon to celebrate your dad as teacher, coach and best of all…….friend.

  4. gary barnes permalink
    December 2, 2013 8:15 pm

    Looking for ways to ward off the disease and maybe stimulate the brain. Played pop warner football and had other head injuries. Symptoms seem to be similar to cte.

    • December 31, 2013 6:29 pm

      Omega 3s seem to help – in high doses. See the bottom half of our treatment page for Omega 3 protocol and other therapies. Take care!

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