Tag Archives: hockey

Canadian Sports Concussion Project Releases Montador, Forzani, and Anonymous Donor Brain Autopsy Results

Concussions affect people and their brains differently.  It bears repeating.

The following was released today by the Canadian Sports Commission:

“The results of three brain autopsies announced this week by the Krembil Neuroscience Centre’s Canadian Sports Concussion Project (CSCP) show the varying outcomes that can result in brains of former athletes who sustained multiple concussions.

The analyses of the brains of former NHL player Steve Montador and two former CFL players including John Forzani, showed a range of results varying from severe effects of multiple concussions to no definite evidence of trauma to the brain. The severe effects include brain degeneration and presence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) – a neurodegenerative brain disorder linked to multiple concussions.

The brains of both Montador and the anonymous donor showed CTE while Forzani’s brain showed no evidence of trauma; despite all three athletes having suffered multiple concussions throughout their respective careers.

“These results indicate that in some athletes multiple concussions lead to the development of CTE, but also that certain individuals may be more vulnerable than others to developing CTE as a result of concussions,” said Dr. Lili-Naz Hazrati neuropathologist in the Laboratory Medicine Program at the University Health Network who conducted the autopsies. “Adding these findings to the other results we’ve had to date reflects the spectrum of our findings by showing that concussions can affect the brain in different ways.”

The profile and results of each donation, made on behalf of the Montador and Forzani families, and an anonymous donor over the last year, are as follows:

Steve Montador was a 35 year old retired professional hockey player who played for several teams in the NHL and sustained multiple concussions during his career.
Montador’s autopsy results showed the widespread presence of CTE throughout his brain. Prior to his death, Montador suffered from depression, erratic behaviour and problems with his memory.

John Forzani, age 67, was a Canadian businessman and a former player with the Calgary Stampeders in the CFL. Despite having suffered multiple concussions during his athletic career, the autopsy results showed that Forzani’s brain showed no signs of CTE.

The third donor, age 76, was a former professional football player who was an offensive and defensive tackle with several teams in the CFL and for a short period in the NFL. The individual sustained several concussions over a 14 year professional football career, some of which caused unconsciousness. Sometime after retirement, he developed dementia for which he was treated for many years before his passing. The autopsy results confirmed the presence of CTE in his brain.

“We are very grateful to the families who made these valuable brain donations,” said Dr. Charles Tator, neurosurgeon and project lead of the CSCP. “This research is ultimately aimed at not only finding treatments for this condition, but also serves to underline the importance of efforts to prevent concussion – which we wouldn’t be able to do without these contributions.”

“Collectively, these findings are an important step to further our understanding of what happens to the brain as a result of multiple concussions,” added Hazrati, who is also a member of the CSCP research team. “But we certainly need to continue studying this brain injury to determine who is likely to develop CTE, why and how we can help those who suffer from it in a meaningful way.”

The results support the need for more concussion research to determine the prevalence of CTE in the brains of former athletes. These recent findings bring the total of brains analyzed to 16 with roughly half showing signs of CTE or the presence of another neurodegenerative disease.

The CSCP aims to recruit a total of 50 brain donations to its ongoing research project and welcomes the commitment of donation from current or former professional athletes. All donor information is kept private, except when the player or family consents to release their name, such as in two of these cases. For more information about brain donation, please visit www.solveconcussions.ca

The CSCP, founded by Dr. Charles Tator, is one of few research projects in the world to examine the entire spectrum of concussion disorders from acute injury to chronic illness including brain degeneration. The team harnesses the expertise of several scientists and clinicians in brain injuries, imaging, genetics, neuropsychology and clinical care at the Krembil Neuroscience Centre and other brain research facilities to further our understanding of this common brain injury.”

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Federal Judge Denies NHL’s Motion to Dismiss Concussion Suit

(Editor’s Note: Below is excerpt from the April Issue of Concussion Litigation Reporter. For more, please subscribe to the newsletter.)

A federal judge from the Northern District of Minnesota denied the National Hockey League’s motion to dismiss a concussion injury lawsuit brought against the league by six former league players.

The plaintiffs, who seek to represent a class of living and deceased former NHL players who suffered concussions or repeated sub-concussive injuries while playing in the NHL, are Dan LaCouture, Michael Peluso, Gary Leeman, Bernie Nicholls, David Christian, and Reed Larson.

In filing their claim last year, the plaintiffs alleged that the NHL was responsible for “the pathological and debilitating effects of brain injuries caused by concussive and sub-concussive impacts sustained . . . during their professional careers.”

Critical to the plaintiffs’ claim was …

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Girls Hockey Players More Susceptible to Concussions than Similarly Aged Boys Football Players

The venerable Globe and Mail of Toronto, quoting from Women’s Sports Foundation research, has reported that girls hockey players suffer concussions at a greater rate than their male counterparts on the football field.

“Across all sports in the study, the highest rate of concussion was reported not by male football players, but by female hockey players,” according to the Foundation.

The article went on to cite a Washington Post Commentary by Marjorie A. Snyder, senior director of research for the Foundation, who said that “studies show that female softball players experience concussions at double the rate of male baseball players and that the injuries were also higher for basketball and soccer.”

For the full article, visit:


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