Report: Mosi Tatupu’s brain said to show evidence of CTE

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According to a published report, medical testing suggests Patriots running back Mosi Tatupu had chronic traumatic encephalopathy before he died of a heart attack in 2010 at age 54.

The Boston Globe reported Tuesday that a sample of Tatupu’s brain sent to Boston University’s CTE Center showed the “tau” protein accumulation associated with the degenerative brain disease, which has been linked to hits to the head, according to the university.

Mosi Tatupu played 14 seasons (1978-1991), the first 13 of which were with New England. He made the Pro Bowl in 1986.

Tatupu’s son, Lofa, was a seven-season starter at linebacker with Seattle (2005-2010).

Linnea Garcia-Tatupu, the former wife of Mosi Tatupu, arranged for the testing of her former husband’s brain, according to the Globe.

“If I knew then what I know now, would I have encouraged Mosi’s dream? Would I have encouraged Lofa’s dream? I wouldn’t have. The risk is not worth the reward,” Garcia-Tatupu told the Globe.

20 responses to “Report: Mosi Tatupu’s brain said to show evidence of CTE

  1. Sad to hear. Mosi was an all time great Patriot. Special teams led the way on the road to their first trip to the super bowl in ’85-’86, and Mosi was their captain. I’ll never forget “Mosi’s Mooses”!

  2. what do you expect, its a barbaric sport…
    and players like browner publicly announce hitting people to make their injuries worse ?

    anyways, I wonder how many of these injuries would be lessened if the stupid helmets were eliminated…look at rugby..people would stop using their helmets as a tackling tool…

  3. We can all die tomorrow in a car crash or shot by a robber. Live your life to its fullest & always be kind to others.

  4. He was a short yardage specialist, a very likeable player and tough as nails.

    If you needed a yard, he got you a yard. If you needed 4 yards, he got you a yard.

  5. I played this sport in high school. Followed it closely through college and am a huge fan of the NFL, but even I wonder sometimes whether it’s all worth it. Humans ramming I to each other barbaricly with serious long term effects to themselves which make their old age incredibly difficult on them, and harder to bear on their loved ones?

    But it’s one of the most American things to do and watch. Football is in our dna.

    I don’t know.

  6. Please stop referring to the accumulation of phosphorylated tau protein, which leads to degeneration of neurons and fibrillary tangles, as something that is linked with hits to the head and then saying “according to the university”.

    When you say it in this way you basically say it’s according to the university and not the concrete science of neurodevelopment. It’s not a question and it isn’t disputed. When a young man has these problems it’s scary. These are the final problems a person with Alzheimer’s disease has before death. In other words, a young person has the same brain problems as an elderly person with Alzheimer’s Disease.

  7. Evidence suggests is not science. There is no SCIENTIFIC proof that hits to the head cause this. Until a comprehensive study is done over many years using people who have never played tackle football or other sports involving concussions this is all speculation. People get lung cancer who have never smoked. People who have smoked all their lives have never got lung cancer. People who have never played football or any other contact sport can have this condition.

  8. I had the opportunity to meet Mosi when I was kid and it was an awesome experience. I visited the old Foxboro stadium during the 1988 season and Mosi came out and spent some time with us during the tour of the stadium. He was a gracious host and took time out of his day to spend time with us. I never forgot the experience and because of it Mosi has always been one of my favorite Patriots players of all time.

    Now in of itself this story may seem insignificant but as I got older what I found amazing is just how many Patriots fans from that era have similar stories. Mosi was a great football player who was celebrated for his toughness and his willingness to do the dirty work necessary to win football games. But the reality is he was an even better person and that’s how I will always remember him.

  9. The general public does not undergo testing for CTE so there really is no way to compare former football players to an average. I suspect that CTE is more prevalent in society as a whole

  10. Freedom of choice — what a great country we live in!

    The only difference between dog fighting and football is that in dog fighting the dogs don’t have a choice.

  11. FinFan68 says: Jan 28, 2015 8:57 AM

    The general public does not undergo testing for CTE so there really is no way to compare former football players to an average. I suspect that CTE is more prevalent in society as a whole


    It would be more accurate to say that Tau Proteins and NFTs are more prevalent than originally thought. But we have a Clinic in Boston leaping to the Tau Proteins/NFTs = CTE conclusion. Meanwhile CTE is just 1 of 10 different reasons for them.

  12. He died of a heart attack. That he had somewhat elevated Tau protein in his brain is irrelevant. He may never have been affected by it and we don’t know the cause.

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