A New Zealand player has died aged 33 and was diagnosed with CTE, associated with repeated blows to the head.

A New Zealand player has died aged 33 and was diagnosed with CTE, associated with repeated blows to the head.

The New Zealander who died last year was the country's first known professional rugby player to be diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease, medical specialists have found.
Former Auckland Blues player Billy Guyton has been diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) after his family donated his brain to the University of Auckland's 'brain bank'. Stage 2 CTE was found in Guyton, who died in May 2023 at the age of 33, by a New Zealand-based pathologist, with the help of a specialist, Maurice Curtis, co-director of the Brain Bank, said in a statement on Friday. in Australia. CTE has been associated with repetitive blows to the head in a number of contact sports, and is known to cause violent seizures, dementia and depression.

“He couldn't stand in the light.”

Guyton's father, John, told Radio New Zealand that these symptoms apply to his son, who retired in early 2018 after suffering a concussion.
“The poor man spent hours in a little dark closet because he could not bear to be in the light,” said John Guyton. “Some mornings he would sit at the bottom of his bathtub crying, trying to muster the energy to move.” The discovery comes with a collection of nearly 300 former rugby players, including… Steve Thompson Phil Vickery, a World Cup winner with England in 2003, decided to take legal action due to the brain damage they suffered. These players claim that World Rugby, as well as the English and Welsh unions, failed to take reasonable measures to protect their health and safety. Injuries from blows to the head are thought to cause other disorders such as motor neuron disease, early-onset dementia, epilepsy and Parkinson's disease. The New Zealand Federation confirmed, in a statement, that it had taken measures to reduce the risk of head collisions. “NZR also supports cutting-edge research to better understand the long-term effects of playing rugby, including understanding the relationship between concussion and long-term brain health,” she said.

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The original article was published on the RMC Sport website

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