Local doctor weighs in on NFL acknowledging CTE

Posted at 6:46 PM, Mar 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-15 18:46:22-04

Jerome King and Torrnecia Nelson have two boys, ages 10 and 14, who love sports, especially football.

News coming out of Washington D.C. Monday at a hearing convened by a House committee has troubled these parents.

For the first time, one of the league's top doctors conceded head trauma could lead to CTE, a degenerative brain disease.

"Taking a step back and assessing the situation, the last thing that you think when you signed up for football is that they're coming home" with a brain injury, said King.

King said while his kids likely won't ever go pro, news like this has him worried on whether his boys should even play.

Patrick Mularoni, a physician, urges parents not to panic over this latest news.

"This admission, if you will, that the NFL says CTE exist is not going to change what we're doing today," said Mularoni.  "We are following the latest science, and the way we treat concussions is very different from 30 years ago."

Mularoni also is the director of sports medicine at All Children's Hospital. He said there are many questions surrounding CTE. Currently doctors have only been able to make the diagnosis after a player dies.

"More science needs to be done, and what we really need to do is find a way to diagnose CTE before
the player dies," said Mularoni.

He does urge parents to be aware. The ER at All Children's saw 800 concussions last year. He's operated on 50,000 plus kids. The best thing a parent can do? Be alert.

"They are complaining of headaches or dizziness. They are just not acting right. They should be pulled out of the game," said Mularoni.

King is going one step further

"I would have to be one of those fathers that go out and find the real equipment or
whatever is necessary for these kids to be able to live a normal life," said King.