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Report: Derek Boogaard dealt with issues related to Alzheimer’s disease

Dec 5, 2011, 11:05 PM EDT

Derek Boogaard Getty Images

A sad and stunning New York Times report reveals that studies of Derek Boogaard’s brain provided evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. CTE is described as “a degenerative brain ailment related to Alzheimer’s disease that is caused by repeated blows to the head.”

One of the report’s most disturbing findings was that the disease was more pronounced in Boogaard (who died at age 28 and played in parts of six NHL seasons) than Bob Probert (who died at age 45 and played in parts of 16 NHL seasons). Dr. Ann McKee – one of the leading researchers – had this to say after studying Boogaard’s brain.

“To see this amount? That’s a ‘wow’ moment,” McKee said. “This is all going bad.”

It’s tough to argue with that point.

  1. nhlbruins90 - Dec 6, 2011 at 1:44 AM

    There is emerging evidence that Alzheimer’s is related to other neuro-degenerative diseases. The underlying cause of Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and other forms of dementia may be similar. Maybe repeated head trauma could cause similar changes to the nerve cells that produce Alzheimer’s symptoms down the line. Not out of the question.

    On the bright side, this type of research is moving into the clinical stage.

  2. beyondtheice - Dec 6, 2011 at 1:59 PM

    Sorry, but am I the only one who views this “report” (NOT the research) as a HUGE leap of logic? The headline is horribly misleading. To say that he “dealt with” issues related to Alzheimer’s is to heavily imply that he was afflicted by these issues. As important and groundbreaking as this research is, there has not been a proven link or proven effects at the time of the various athlete’s deaths, only that it likely WOULD HAVE affected them later in life.

    That being said, great series by the NY Times. But enough with the sensationalism, PHT.

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