Monday, January 27, 2020

People Neurology: Bennet versus Ann feud captured live!

In a People Neurology exclusive, contentious footage of Dr. Ann McKee and Dr. Bennet Omalu was captured at the 5th Annual Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Conference. Dr. Omalu was not invited due to their long-standing animosity, but he crashed the party anyway during Dr. McKee's highly anticipated Keynote. While she was presenting quantitative proteomic analysis of the postmortem brain tissue of Aaron Hernandez, Dr. Omalu stood up and admonished the entire audience: “Remember, I discovered CTE! [NOTE: this is false.1] You will all answer for this on judgment day.”

The crowd gasped...
“Don't believe the blonde white woman who claimed she discovered CTE!”

“Ha. I never claimed I discovered CTE,” Dr. McKee snorted.
“His criteria don’t make sense to me! I don’t know what he’s doing.”

“The final decision is still with the doctor who is examining. Not every CTE case will have all those [NINDS] guidelines,” Dr. Omalu retorted.

“His criteria for diagnosing CTE are all over the map,” McKee said.

“This is the problem. People lump me with him, and they lump my work with him, and my work is nothing like this.”

The acrimonious exchange, the conference, and the ridiculous magazine cover are all fictitious, but the quotes are faithful renditions reported by the Washington Post in a scathing critique:
From scientist to salesman
How Bennet Omalu, doctor of ‘Concussion’ fame, built a career on distorted science

. . .
Nearly 15 years [after his first paper], Omalu has withdrawn from the CTE research community and remade himself as an evangelist, traveling the world selling his frightening version of what scientists know about CTE and contact sports. In paid speaking engagements, expert witness testimony and in several books he has authored, Omalu portrays CTE as an epidemic and himself as a crusader, fighting against not just the NFL but also the medical science community, which he claims is too corrupted to acknowledge clear-cut evidence that contact sports destroy lives.

. . .
But across the brain science community, there is wide consensus on one thing: Omalu, the man considered by many the public face of CTE research, routinely exaggerates his accomplishments and dramatically overstates the known risks of CTE and contact sports, fueling misconceptions about the disease, according to interviews with more than 50 experts in neurodegenerative disease and brain injuries, and a review of more than 100 papers from peer-reviewed medical journals.

Much of the reporting isn't new: it was widely known four years ago that Omalu exaggerated his contributions to the field (including the “discovery” of CTE), and that he blasted his critics:

“There is a good deal of jealousy and envy in my field. For me to come out and discover the paradigm shift, it upset some people. I am well aware of that.”

What was new is that respected experts publicly questioned Omalu's past work and his widely disseminated claims.

The biggest revelation was that the histology images in one influential paper did not show CTE, and did not appear to be from the brain of the subject in question.
McKee and other experts confirmed, in interviews, something that long has been an open secret in the CTE research community: Omalu’s paper on Mike Webster — the former Pittsburgh Steelers great who was the first NFL player discovered to have CTE — does not depict or describe the disease as the medical science community defines it.

On the more technical side, the WaPo article provided a basic overview of the CTE pathology and what it does to the brain, along with helpful graphics.

Our sister station, Netflix Neurology, will review Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez (the former NFL player and convicted murderer who died by suicide while incarcerated).

Ann McKee with the brain of Aaron Hernandez,
which showed extensive CTE findings


1 In 1928, Harrison S. Martland published PUNCH DRUNK, a paper about boxers with brain damage. And the CTE syndrome was first named by Macdonald Critchley in 1949: Punch-drunk syndromes: The chronic traumatic encephalopathy of boxers.

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At June 14, 2020 7:25 AM, Blogger Shanna said...

Isn't this a little disingenuous? While there was CTE in boxers, the phenomena as it extended to football players was not discovered until Dr. Omalu dissected Mike Webster's brain. So, he did discover CTE - in football players.

Now, I get it. White woman, black man. And racism is alive and well. But to say that the man (NOTE: HE DID NOT!) had no influence in the diagnosis of CTE in football players is just denying the man his due.

Check your biases please. You are arguing semantics now.

At January 31, 2021 11:11 PM, Blogger Codename said...

Couldn't agree more. Seems like there were tons of names for the disorder and lots of confusion. Omalu came along and discovered CTE in football players. Was he the one who named the disorder, no. However, it is clear he is the one who made it prominent within the NFL. Were is early papers perfect? No. New discoveries usually come with all sorts of confusion, differing results and skepticism. However, in the end, he was right and CTE is a serious issue in NFL players, even if everything he did initially was not perfect.

At May 28, 2021 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is bad faith. Omalu is the target of critics for at the same time inventing a disease that doesn't exist, exagerating it, then exagerating his role in finding it. Make up your mind, dude.
Omalu is the one who discovered CTE. He's the one who established the link between early dementia and the practice of Football. No one could or would explain why healthy 50 year old men would suffer of memory loss, confusion, speech impediments akin to alzheimer. Omalu is the one who conducted the (self-financed, remember) research when most people just wanted to ignore it. He's the one who dissected their brain and who later found the correlation with tau pathology in brain tissue. He's the one who confirmed CTE in a living person for the first time, thanks to FDDNP.

Your argument is like saying Covid 19 was never discovered because there was other coronavirus before, in other circumstances, with other symptoms and outcomes; but it's the same because it's the same name...

If there's one person to exagerate her role, it's certainly Ann Mckee. She introduce herself as the "leader of the greatest study ever made on CTE" while dismissing the work of Omalu.
Since you like archive links, I encourage you to research "ann mckee cte" on google before 2006. You won't find anything relevant.
Now try searching "bennet omalu cte" before 2003. Quite a difference, isn't it?

You're just like this article on the washingtonpost. You don't know what you're talking about and do it with utter confidence. Laughable.


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