• BU study finds repeated hits to the head can cause CTE -- without concussions

    By: Litsa Pappas

    Updated:

    BOSTON - Kimberly Archie was pleased to hear about the new findings on chronic brain injuries released by Boston University Thursday. 

    Doctors at BU have found constant hits to young athletes – even without concussions – cause Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). 

    Archie says this better explains how her son died.

    “I think it's great that peer-reviewed research has finally caught up to what a lot of us have known for a long time,” she told Boston 25 News. “And it seemed very suspect the way he died because the behavior was so erratic.”

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    Archie says her son died at age 24 from reckless driving that seemed suicidal, but she didn't understand why. Until she had his brain autopsied and found he suffered from CTE after playing football from age 7 to 15.

    “My son never had any brain injuries or what a lot of people like to call a concussion,” Archie said. 

    The new research could change the way some sports are played. The Athletic Director at Walpole High School says he already plans to talk to coaches about the findings from BU, to find ways players can avoid those dangerous hits.

    Ron Dowd says the new findings make sense that hard hits can cause brain damage in several sports at a young age. 

    “The more education, the more proof that you have is always better, you're always looking to improve” said Dowd. 

    MORE: BU study finds 'increased risk' of brain disease in football players

    He plans to work with coaches to show players how to make tackles and plays without injuring their brain.

    “You can still encompass techniques and so forth, still get your point across and not be slamming heads,” he said. 

    Dowd says game rules could also be changed in the future to prevent CTE after this new research.

    Something mothers like Kim Archie hope for to help other families avoid the loss she's had.

    “It's different once you have the proof and you look back, then it becomes crystal clear,” she said.

    MORE: BU researchers say CTE diagnosis may be possible before death 

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