The 5th Annual Boston University CTE Conference, a two-day virtual event on Oct. 21-22, will feature a conversation with former NFL player Jonathan Martin, who retired in 2015 after several injuries, mental health struggles, and suicide attempts. Martin’s first public comments since 2016 are expected to cover his mental health battle since retiring, his perspective on whether he may have CTE, his newfound commitment to brain health, and his choice to be a voice of hope for former athletes concerned about CTE.
Martin, who is also announcing his pledge to donate his brain to the VA-Boston University-Concussion Legacy Foundation (VA-BU-CLF) Brain Bank, will be interviewed by BU CTE Center co-founder Chris Nowinski, PhD, alongside United Kingdom rugby star Stephen Thompson, who last year revealed he was diagnosed with dementia at age 42. Thompson’s doctors believe his dementia was caused by repeated head impacts from decades of playing rugby.
The course is designed for health care professionals and researchers, and up to 15.25 continuing education credits are available for physicians and psychologists. Patients, families, and other members of the public are welcome and encouraged to attend. Participants can register for the conference at CTEConference.com.
Presenters will include Boston University faculty Ann McKee, MD, Bob Stern, PhD, Robert Cantu, MD, Jesse Mez, MD, Doug Katz, MD, Lee Goldstein, MD, PhD, Thor Stein, MD, PhD, and Mike Alosco, PhD.
Guest presenters will include Kaj Blennow, MD, PhD, of the University of Gothenberg, Sweden, on fluid biomarkers, Jasmeet Hayes, PhD, of The Ohio State University on MRI imaging, and Robert Turner II, PhD, of George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Science, who will explore how racism and discrimination may influence diagnosis for black former football players.
The Concussion Legacy Foundation’s Lisa McHale will explore how CTE impacts families by interviewing three family members of former football players diagnosed with CTE, including the daughter of Atlanta Falcons star Tommy Nobis, the wife and daughter of 14-year NFL player Nesby Glasgow, and the parents of former Dartmouth football player Hunter Foraker, who died by suicide at age 25.
The conference is organized to train doctors and other health care professionals on the latest advances in our understanding of CTE, including its pathology, pathophysiology, genetics, biomarkers, imaging, clinical syndromes, clinical criteria, differential diagnosis, impact on Veterans, implications for the family and, what it is like to live with or worry about the disease.