Nick Lowery says the movie Concussion accurately portrays brain injuries and the toll they take on players in the National Football League.
The former All-Pro kicker watched numerous friends and teammates debilitated by concussions, including friend Mike Webster, who was found to have Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy and died at age 50.
Lowery also watched friends Junior Seau, Ken Stabler and Dave Duerson die with CTE. Now he’s working to save lives. A teammate with Webster for two seasons on the Kansas City Chiefs, he’s working with Kannalife Sciences to create an intercellular helmet. The company is also doing research to develop cannabinoid-based treatments for CTE. Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds found in cannabis.
“How can we allow this to happen? And it’s not because football is the worst sport. It’s the best sport … but the bottom line is how can we let this happen to future Mike Websters,” Lowery told UPI. “What can we do to make sure this doesn’t happen and preserve this game? Who are the stewards of the game if it’s not us?”
Kannalife Sciences has an exclusive patent for commercialization of CBD research for CTE. Lowery said he is hopeful the company is close to implementing products that will be measurable and reduce the time it takes to recover from concussions and the number of concussions.
The NFL reported a 13.5 percent increase in diagnosed concussions from 2016 to 2017. The league announced in October that concussions during the 2018 preseason were down 13 percent.
Several studies have been published regarding the hits that lead to brain injuries and possibly CTE, including a 2017 Boston University report which found 110 of 111 brains of former NFL players it examined had the degenerative disease linked to repeated blows to the head.