What Happens When Football Players Decide ‘Enough is Enough?’

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A former University of Georgia football player is opening up about his personal struggles resulting from the estimated 25 to 35 concussions he received during his career.

Ralph Thompson believes he may suffer from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)- a degenerative brain disease often found in contact sports athletes. The married father of three still feels the toll from playing football, claiming that 20 years later he still gets regular dizzy spells.

“I experience migraines — headaches from all the pounding and whatnot,” said Thompson, who played three seasons for the University of Georgia in the early 1990s. “My vision is blurry for about 20 to 30 seconds at a time,” he said. “Sometimes I feel like it affects my ability to concentrate and focus for the duration or magnitude I once was able to.”

One of the biggest advocates for CTE research is Former NFL player Nick Lowery, a Harvard graduate who played for the NFL for over 18 years. He has been on a media tour of the country including appearances on MSNBC and CNBC to raise awareness for CTE and the potential use of cannabinoids as a treatment and prevention therapy.

Lowery is one of many former NFL players who already take cannabidiol daily as a neuroprotectant, partnering with Kannalife Sciences to raise awareness around the degenerative brain disease. Kannalife Sciences is a leader in the search for an effective CTE treatment, and they are the only company in the cannabinoid therapeutics space with an exclusive license to a U.S. government patent from the National Institutes of Health (“NIH”).

Kannalife’s license to the patent “Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants” (the “‘507 Patent”) allows the company to do groundbreaking research and develop cannabinoid-based treatments for CTE. Kannalife Sciences is dedicated to the wellbeing of athletes and hopes to soon become a publicly traded company and gain further public support for its groundbreaking research.

Please let me know if you’d like to speak to Nick about his passion for treating CTE and the recent uptick in players opening up about their struggles with the symptoms of repeated brain trauma.


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Nathaniel Geoghegan

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Emerald contributor since March 2012


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