Daniel G. Amen, MD Responds to Junior Seau


While Junior Seau's apparent suicide breaks the hearts of football fans nationwide, Daniel G. Amen, MD pleads with other football players and athletes that "there's help from chronic traumatic brain injuries, depression, irritability, and memory problems they suffer."

Dr. Amen, founder and CEO of Amen Clinics, Inc., and two-time Board Certified psychiatrist, has conducted three clinical studies with 115 active and former players from the National Football League. Each study shows that it's not only possible, it's likely, that with a brain-directed health protocol, significant improvement can be experienced in decision-making, reasoning, depression, mood and memory.

"Junior Seau was a legend. But even legends cannot escape the ravages of chronic brain damage," said Dr. Amen, who is the lead researcher on three published studies on NFL players and brain damage. He is also a leading researcher on a brain imaging study called SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) and has looked at over 73,000 scans.

"My message to the football community is that players need to get their brains examined before they play and after they stop and at any time they get a concussion. I often say how do you know unless you look," said Dr. Amen.

Dr. Amen began studying the effects of football on brain health in 1999 when Brent Boyd, a former NFL player, came to the Amen Clinics. After Anthony Davis came to the clinic in 2007 his work with active and former NFL players took off. He has partnered with the Los Angeles Chapter of the Retired NFL Players Association to perform the world's largest brain imaging/brain rehabilitation study.

"Our studies found significant evidence that, fortunately, there are treatment protocols that can often reverse many of the symptoms caused by brain damage and improve brain function," said Dr. Amen.

"Junior may have damaged his pre-frontal cortex, which is responsible for decision-making," Dr. Amen said, also noting that Seau was arrested in 2010 for domestic violence, which also may have been a result of poor decision-making. "Brain trauma symptoms can appear decades after the playing days and can include dementia, memory loss, violent behavior, obesity, mental illness and depression. And unfortunately, suicide is more common in people who have experienced brain trauma."

For more information on Dr. Amen and the Amen Clinics, visit amenclinics.com