The only part of the incident Brian Price recalls is returning to his senses with blood in his mouth. In a shocking moment, the hulking former NFL player had gone from talking to police outside an Ypsilanti Township, Mich., auto parts store to running headlong through its glass door.
Price’s wife says drugs were not involved. Instead, as recently reported by Detroit’s WDIV-TV, Candice Price blames the neurodegenerative disease that’s been linked to football: chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.
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Early symptoms of CTE include headaches, disorientation, erratic and/or aggressive behavior and memory loss. It can go on to inflict more severe conditions, such as dementia, deafness and thoughts of suicide.
CTE is thought to afflict football players at a higher rate than the general public, because of the repeated head trauma, including concussions and sub-concussive impacts, they often suffer. In a study published Tuesday, 110 out of 111 brains donated to researchers by concerned families of former NFL players showed signs of the disease.
“This is a problem in football that we need to address and we need to address now in order to bring some hope and optimism to football players,” Ann McKee, a neuropathologist involved in several noteworthy CTE studies, told The Post’s Rick Maese.
A spokesman for the NFL said that while “there are still many unanswered questions relating to the cause, incidence and prevalence of long-term effects of head trauma such as CTE,” the league is “committed to supporting scientific research into CTE and advancing progress in the prevention and treatment of head injuries.”
In an incident that took place in April — on his 28th birthday — Price was acting in a confused manner and overturning displays in the auto parts store when police were called to the scene. A defensive tackle out of UCLA whose NFL career included stints with the Buccaneers, Bears and Cowboys from 2010 to 2013, Price was supposed to have been enjoying his day at a local spa and is not sure why he wound up at the store.
After crashing through the door, Price was able to get back to his feet but he was brought by police to an emergency room. His wife, a track athlete from Ann Arbor, Mich., told the station, “When I got there and the officers described the incident to me, I was just shocked. I couldn’t believe the things they were describing.”
“Mentally, some days I struggle a lot,” Price said. “But as a man, and as a friend and a father, you don’t want people to see it.
“But at the same time, I know I’m not the only one going through this.”
The full video from WDIV-TV can be found here.