NFL Great Ken Stabler had CTE

Former Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler had stage 3 Chronic Traumatic Encenphalopathy


Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) has reared its ugly head on the National Football League (NFL) once again.

It was announced Wednesday that former Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler dealt with CTE, according to The New York Times. CTE is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain, typically found in people with a history of repetitive brain trauma, according to Boston University. Stabler died of colon cancer on July 7, and his brain was removed during an autopsy and sent to scientists in Massachusetts. He was diagnosed with Stage 3 CTE (on a scale of 1-4) nearly seven months after his death at the age of 69.

Dr. Ann McKee, who is the chief of neuropathology at the V.A. Boston Healthcare System and a professor of neurology and pathology at the Boston University School of Medicine, told the Times Stabler had a "moderately severe disease."

The symptoms of CTE include memory loss, confusion, impaired judgement, impulse control problems, aggression, depression, anxiety, suicidality, Parkinsonism and dementia. CTE is often found in people who participate in contact sports such as football, boxing and hockey.

Boston University has now discovered CTE in 90 of the 94 former football players it has examined, according to the Times. Stabler becomes the seventh former NFL quarterback quarterback to be diagnosed with CTE by Boston University. This news comes on the heals of former New York Giants safety Tyler Sash, whose diagnosis of Stage 2 CTE was made public last week.

Nicknamed "The Snake," the former Alabama quarterback finished his NFL career with 27,938 passing yards and 194 touchdowns. He was named most valuable player of the NFL in 1974, and led Oakland to their first Super Bowl victory two seasons later. He concluded his 15-year NFL career with the New Orleans Saints in 1984.