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Ohio State Football Player Commits Suicide: Brain Injury to Blame?

Kosta Karageorge, football player at Ohio State University, was found dead in a dumpster from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  In the months leading up to his apparent suicide, he texted members of his family stating that he was feeling increasingly confused.  Experts who have weighted in on the story agree that his suicide is attributed to depression sustained through a severe brain trauma from football.  Depression from athletics, particularly rampant through football, can be devastating to the victim, especially when untreated.

Of course, this is not the first suicide that a football player has committed because of possible brain injury.  In 2012, NFL linebacker Junior Seau shot himself in the chest.  Later, after doctors were able to study his brain, there was definitive evidence that he had suffered from CTE.  Earlier in 2011, former Chicago Bears player, Dave Duerson, also killed himself by shooting himself in the chest.  The police found a note left behind, pleading that his brain be sent to somewhere for research.  This is a possible route to take with Karageorge’s brain as well, if it is intact.

William Barr, director of neuropsychology at New York University’s Langone Concussion Center, told ABC News that confusion as a concussion symptom usually only lasts between seven and ten days. It’s possible Karageorge was actually suffering from depression or another mood disorder and misattributed it as confusion, Barr said. (abc.com)

Barr would go on to state that there is no direct link from concussions to suicide, rather severe brain trauma suffered from concussions can lead to depression.  In turn, because Karageorge had sustained several injuries through his collegiate career, it may have placed him in a state prone to depression. He aslo could have been suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, like Seau, which is a degenerative brain disease.  CTE is connected with repeated head trauma, such as one would sustain through football.

Although Dr. Jim Borchers, lead physician for the OSU football team, did not comment on whether or not Karageorge had suffered several concussions in the past, his mother, Susan, said he had.  Her son, in his manic state, texted her earlier in the day saying, “ I’m sorry if I’m an embarrassment,” prompting a search.  Unfortunately, it was too late.  Although he had been thoroughly taken care of by the OSU staff after suffering one of his concussions, the long-term effects were not dealt with properly.  Hopefully, these sorts of post traumatic problems will be better monitored as more and more people around sports are starting to realize the inherent issues with repeated head contact.

Source: abcnews