Paul Green was suffering from advanced CTE at the time of his suicide
| Last updated
Doctors have revealed that NRL legend Paul Green was suffering from ‘severe forms’ of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) at the time of his suicide.
The former Maroons player’s passing at the age of 49 back in August left the rugby league community devastated.
Now, leading neuropathologist Professor Michael Buckland from the Australian Sports Brain Bank (ASBB) has revealed the Premiership-winning coach was experiencing a severe disease.
CTE cannot be diagnosed until after the patient’s passing and often comes as a result of repeated knocks to the head and concussions.
Contact sport athletes have often been diagnosed with the disease after their death.
Michael Buckland revealed to The Australian that Green had ‘an organic brain disease which robbed him of his decision-making and impulse control’ and that he like would have been ‘symptomatic for some time’.
The study came after Buckland had contacted Green’s wife Amanda and asked if they would donate Paul’s brain for research.
He told The Australian: “It was not him, it was the brain disease.
“The only known cause for the organic brain disease is exposure to repetitive head impacts.
“I suspect he would have been coping with stuff he didn’t understand for quite a while.
“He didn’t have mental health problems; he just couldn’t control stuff that was going on in his head.”
It’s a diagnosis that Amanda Green says gave her and her children Emerson (13) and Jed (10) some closure.
Amanda told The Australian that there were no signs the former Cowboys coach had been suffering from mental health issues.
She said: “I was able to sit Jed down and explain: ‘Daddy’s brain was sick, that’s why he did what he did.
"For my daughter Emerson it has also given her a sense of relief because of what’s being said out there (that Green had depression).
“She now understands that he wasn’t in that space and there’s nothing we could have done, because he was sick. We just didn’t know it."
An incredibly sad revelation but one that gives the family some form of explanation.
Amanda says she will continue to shine a light on the impacts of concussions and CTE.
She added: “My goal is to shine a light on Paul's diagnosis, so we can advance our approach to detection, education, treatment and support for people suffering from CTE.”