Researchers: Former NHL player Jeff Parker had brain disease
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Researchers say former NHL player Jeff Parker suffered from a brain disease that has been linked with repeated head injuries in athletes.
The diagnosis comes from Boston University’s CTE Center. Parker is at least the seventh pro hockey player diagnosed with the disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which led to a $1 billion settlement between the NFL and former players.
Parker died of other causes at age 53 last September. The CTE center’s director, Dr. Ann McKee, says Parker suffered from an advanced stage of the disease. His symptoms included memory loss and impulsivity.
Parker played five seasons at Buffalo and Hartford until a head injury ended his career in 1991. He starred at Mariner High School in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, and at Michigan State.
Parker was a plaintiff in a federal lawsuit pending in Minnesota against the NHL, which disputes whether hockey injuries can cause CTE.