Home Australia Footy great Corey Parker reveals his deadly personal health battle at just 41 years of age

Footy great Corey Parker reveals his deadly personal health battle at just 41 years of age

by Elijah
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NRL legend Corey Parker (pictured with his wife and children) has revealed that
  • Adamant suffers from a fatal brain disease.
  • The Broncos played great in the NRL and represented football from 2001 to 2016.
  • Star turned TV commentator is noticing his brain deteriorating

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NRL legend Corey Parker has revealed he has “no doubt” he is suffering from the effects of the fatal brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Parker, 41, scored 347 games for the Broncos as well as 19 appearances for Australia and 13 Origins for Queensland in his decorated career.

The father of four children revealed in a radio interview that he already notices that his brain is deteriorating.

CTE is a degenerative brain disorder that has strong links to repeated blows to the head and can only be diagnosed after death.

It can cause dementia, personality changes, and suicidal thoughts, and there is no cure or treatment.

“This CTE is the word that’s obviously being used and rightly so: it’s real,” Parker said on SEN.

NRL legend Corey Parker (pictured with his wife and children) has revealed he has “no doubt” he is suffering from the effects of the fatal brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Parker, 41, scored 347 games for the Broncos, as well as 19 appearances for the Kangaroos and 13 Origins for Queensland in a long and brutal career.

Parker, 41, scored 347 games for the Broncos, as well as 19 appearances for the Kangaroos and 13 Origins for Queensland in a long and brutal career.

Parker, 41, scored 347 games for the Broncos, as well as 19 appearances for the Kangaroos and 13 Origins for Queensland in a long and brutal career.

The father of four suggested in a radio interview that he is already noticing his brain deteriorating (pictured left, in his current media role at Fox League).

The father of four suggested in a radio interview that he is already noticing his brain deteriorating (pictured left, in his current media role at Fox League).

The father of four suggested in a radio interview that he is already noticing his brain deteriorating (pictured left, in his current media role at Fox League).

‘I do not have any doubt; I have no doubt in my tenure as a rugby league player that I have symptoms, I have symptoms of CTE.

But it is something that cannot be understood until, obviously, post-mortem.

“You can’t expect to play a sport with a lot of collisions, [and] for [close to] 20 of those years at a high level and not having any type of side effects.

“You can try and manage different things, but the damage has already been done, right?”

Parker added that the NRL must take some responsibility for players past and present who suffer from the condition, but he is pleased to see changes being introduced at youth level.

His somber revelation comes after NRL icon Wally Lewis spoke about how his life has been affected by the symptoms of a probable case of CTE.

Parker also noted that during his career playing with a concussion was widely viewed as a badge of honor, and leaving the field was a sign of weakness.

“We actually looked at him like, ‘Oh, this guy is so tough,'” he said.

Rugby league icon Wally Lewis (pictured with partner Lynda Adams) has been diagnosed with probable chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)

Rugby league icon Wally Lewis (pictured with partner Lynda Adams) has been diagnosed with probable chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)

Rugby league icon Wally Lewis (pictured with partner Lynda Adams) has been diagnosed with probable chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)

Lewis sought professional help after the tragic suicide of first-place Cowboys coach Paul Green, who was revealed to have CTE after his death.

Lewis sought professional help after the tragic suicide of first-place Cowboys coach Paul Green, who was revealed to have CTE after his death.

Lewis sought professional help after the tragic suicide of first-place Cowboys coach Paul Green, who was revealed to have CTE after his death.

CTE: THE BRAIN DISEASE CAUSED BY REPEATED HEAD TRAUMA THAT IS COMMON IN NFL PLAYERS AND VETERANS AFTER THEY DIE

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a degenerative brain disease caused by repeated blows to the head. Over time, these hits result in the buildup of tau protein around the brain, which can lead to confusion, depression and eventually dementia.

There have been several retired footballers who have developed brain diseases, many of whom attribute their condition to the game.

More than 1,800 former athletes and military veterans have pledged to donate their brains to the Concussion Legacy Foundation for CTE research.

CTE was generally associated with boxing before former NFL players began revealing their conditions.

Several notable players who committed suicide were diagnosed with the disease posthumously, such as Junior Seau and Aaron Hernandez.

While often linked to concussions, many researchers such as Lee E. Goldstein, MD, PhD, associate professor at Boston University, now believe that subconcussive hits also play an important role in CTE.

“Over the course of an NFL season, the overwhelming majority of hits are subconcussive,” Goldstein told DailyMail.com. ‘I’m not saying [the NFL is] wrong to focus on concussions. But what I am saying is that they are assigning wrong priorities.”

‘But there were times in my career when I knew I had a concussion, I knew I was dazed.

‘Towards the end of my career, I would actually buy myself time on the ground and hold on to a shoulder or a leg until my head was okay, then stand up.

“I knew if I stood up I would stumble, which is definitely not the right way to think.”

In 2022, an autopsy of the brain of former NRL player and head coach Paul Green, who took his own life, confirmed he had a severe case of CTE.

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