AMA honors Dr. Bennet Omalu with highest award for discovery of CTE in NFL players: 9 highlights

Written by Megan Wood | November 22, 2016 | Print  |

The American Medical Association recognized forensic neuropathologist Bennet I. Omalu, MD, MBA, for his discovery of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in NFL players.

Here are nine highlights:


1. The association honored Dr. Omalu with its Distinguished Service Award at the 2016 AMA Interim Meeting, held in Orlando, Fla., from Nov. 12 to Nov. 15, 2016.


2. The AMA Board of Trustees nominates and the House of Delegates endorses the winner of the Distinguished Service Award, which is the society's highest award.


3. The Distinguished Service Award honors an AMA member for "meritorious service in the science and art of medicine," according to the press release.


4. In 2002, Dr. Omalu made the CTE discovery when analyzing former NFL offensive lineman Mike Webster's brain.


5. He noted Mr. Webster's brain had diffuse amyloid plaques all over the place with no neuritic plaques.


6. After extensive research, Dr. Omalu published his case study in 2005, and spotted CTE during postmortem examinations of other NFL players.


7. When Dr. Omalu presented his findings to the NFL in 2007, the league disregarded the research and attempted to discredit Dr. Omalu. But by 2009, the NFL agreed a connection existed between football-causing concussions and CTE.


8. Dr. Omalu currently is the chief medical examiner for the San Joaquin County Coroner's Office in California as well as a clinical associate professor at the University of California, Davis.


9. The 2015 movie, "Concussion," illustrates Dr. Omalu's CTE research journey.


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