Ryan Freel is first MLB player diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy
Summary of 5 articles · Updated Dec 16, 2013
On Sunday, the results of those tests were released to the public for the first time when the family announced Freel had been suffering from Stage 2 chronic traumatic encephalopathy . Freel had reached the second of four stages of chronic traumatic encephalopathy , which can give rise to erratic behavior, cognitive difficulties, memory loss, inattentiveness and depression all symptoms Freel experienced. The brain of Freel, who retired in 2010 after having reportedly sustained nine or 10 concussions throughout his career, was studied after his death by the Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy and Sports Legacy Institute. Freel's career, six years of which were spent with the Cincinnati Reds, was cut short after eight seasons by a series of head and other injuries. He was found dead on Dec. 22, 2012 in Jacksonville, Fla. There, evidence confirmed that Freel was suffering from Stage II CTE when he committed suicide on Dec. “There is no way to say his neurodegenerative disease was the cause of his death or the tumultuous 10 years prior to his death,” said Dr. Bob Stern, a neurology and neurosurgery professor and a co-founder of Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy. He becomes the Major League Baseball player to be diagnosed with the degenerative brain disease that has also been linked to several professional football players who have committed suicide.