It has become a serious but familiar pattern: soon after an NFL player dies, his family must decide whether to donate his brain to be tested for symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in the head. But recurrent neurological disease.
He had the option of confronting relatives of Philip Adams, who Roughly shot six people and then himself In his hometown, Rock Hill, SC, this month. The family asked that his brain be sent to Boston University’s CTE Center, the leading site for research on the disease, which found Hundreds of football players and other athletes But diagnosis can be made only after death.
If investigators request an early diagnosis – and thus they have not yet done – Boston University researchers will still need about four months to provide a definitive answer.
While it has become common for NFL families to question whether and how profoundly, CTE affected a player, Adams’s sudden and atypical nature of violent outbreaks, as well as pressure in the football-mad community where he lived , Statistics to cloud answers that provide brain tests.
“Having the disease may make you more likely to feel depressed and even kill someone or yourself, but we’ll never know if it was the sole or main cause of the tragic outcome,” a quantitative Adam M. Finkel said. Risk Assessor at Michigan School of Public Health. “But the inability to prove that a particular outcome due to the disease should not be used to suspect a broad point, repeated exposure to head hits is strongly associated with a disease that leads to various bad outcomes Enhances. “
Even if Adams, whose six-year NFL career ended after the 2015 season, found that it was CTE, who can give only one clue as to why he killed himself and six others. The disease has been linked to a host of symptoms including aggressive, impulsive behavior and even suicidal thoughts. In many cases, found families and friends of the CTE stated that the symptoms were not about the person they knew and that they became more pronounced over time.
In this case, Adams’s sister, Lauren Adams, Told USA Today His brother, who was 32, had recently become unusually aggressive.
“His mental health declined rapidly and badly,” she said. “There was unusual behavior.”
The disease has also been linked to memory lapses, loss of focus and to follow instructions and handle everyday tasks. But researchers have found causal links, not just associations, between the disease and many obvious symptoms.
It is difficult and perhaps impossible to determine a motive after suicide because so many factors can play a role, including persistent mental distress and drug use. Adams does not have a note that tries to explain his motives, and such messages are often considered unreliable.
Although aggression is common in players who eventually have been found to have CTE, rarely have they resorted to murder or suicide. Junior cu And Dave durson Probably the most famous footballers who killed themselves and found that there was a small group of CTE A – including Jovan Belcher, Kansas City’s premier linebacker – has killed others before committing suicide. Still, CTE has risen to prominence as more former players have had the disease, leading to vocal debate about the role in his death.
Much is still publicly unknown as to what type of medical treatment Adams may receive, or Adams’s Dr. What was the relationship with Robert Leslie, one of the six men. Leslie was a prominent local physician specializing in emergency and occupational therapy.
Representative Ralph Norman, Republican of South Carolina, Told WBTV In Charlotte, NC, last week he learned from law enforcement officials that Drs. Leslie saw Adams as a patient. The sheriff’s office for York County, SC has not confirmed the relationship.
In 2017, Adams tried to apply for so-called line-of-duty benefits for injuries he received during the NFL, according to a handicapped consultant who worked with Adams, but in getting the necessary paperwork from his former teams There was some problem. It is unclear how many of Adams’ six former teams provided injury records.
Those closest to Adams described him as not coming to terms with the end of his NFL career and as someone who had a caretaker role in his family. He said he was very close to his mother, Phyllis Adams, and had been spending more time in his childhood home in recent months, neighbors said. His former agent, Scott Kesterline, said Adams had turned down a job offer from him because he did not want to relocate to Texas, where he would split from his young son.
Adams grew up in Rock Hill, which gave birth to so many NFL players that it is known as Football City USA.
Some friends of Castorline and Adams Adams kept himself at a high level and never found out what his professional career was like due to injuries and other factors.
Like some other players, Adams spent so much of his early years honing his craft to get to the NFL so focused on what he could do next would be a loss.
“It always starts and ends with expectations,” said Seth Abrutin, a sociologist at the University of British Columbia, who studies youth suicide and the intersection of mental health. “If you are the main caretaker, or at least you believe, then the expectations you make can be fast. They are invisible pressures that exert real power on us. “
Adams’s access to the gun could also have been a factor in the tragedy. States with higher suicide rates have higher gun ownership rates, research has shown. The average gun ownership rate in South Carolina was 43 percent In 2016, according to a recent Rand Corporation study, above average 32 percent for all states.
Police said Adams used two cannons in the shooting last week, a .45-caliber and a 9mm. He was arrested in North Carolina in 2016 and charged with committing a misdemeanor, a concealed weapon.
“What increases the suicide rate in America is gun ownership in the home,” said Matthew Miller, a professor of health science and epidemiology at Northeastern University. “When you can reach for a gun, it’s much easier to die than when you can’t.”
Abrutin said that this and other factors could boost Adams’ lethal action. It may never be possible to open them to find a clear pattern of behavior.
He said, “It is easy to give a monosexual explanation because it makes us sleep better at night.” “When we look at our lives, we know that this is not true.”