ESPN.com has published an extensive report on brain damage to pro athletes, especially pro wrestlers, with the big news that former WWE wrestler Andrew “Test” Martin had brain damage similar to Chris Benoit’s at the time of his death in March.
Studies conducted on Martin’s brain revealed that he suffered damage “stemming from repeated blows to the head.” Dr. Bennet Omalu, co-director of the Brain Injury Research Institute, told ESPN that they discovered “excessive amounts of tau proteins similar to those he found in Benoit.” Both Benoit and Martin are said to have had brains similar to “those of Alzheimer’s patients more than twice their age.”
Omalu explains, “After repeated blows to the head, at some point the brain loses the ability to heal itself. he tau impairs normal brain function and kills brain cells. The delicate balance of the neurotransmitters, which control moods and drives and maintains safety, can be destroyed. With Andrew Martin as the second case, the WWE and the sport in general have to ask themselves, ‘Is this a trend?’ The science tells us that jumping off 10-foot ladders and slamming people with tables and chairs is simply bad for the brain.”
WWE was contacted by ESPN and said the following regarding Dr. Omalu’s findings:
While this is a new emerging science, the WWE is unaware of the veracity of any of these tests, be it for Chris Benoit or Andrew Martin. Dr. Omalu claims that Mr. Benoit had a brain that resembled an 85-year-old with Alzheimerâ€™s, which would lead one to ponder how Mr. Benoit would have found his way to an airport, let alone been able to remember all the moves and information that is required to perform in the ring. WWE has been asking to see the research and tests results in the case of Mr. Benoit for years and has not been supplied with them.
Visit ESPN.com to read the entire article.