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Arvada native takes part in national CTE study

Scott Robertson played football at Colorado College from 1985-1989.

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — An Arvada native is participating in a seven-year national CTE study run by researchers from Boston University.

Scott Robertson was a football player at Colorado College from 1985-1989. He entered into the Diagnose CTE Research Project in 2017.

"If I could contribute to the science in any way that will lead us to better understand CTE and any brain injury ailments, both the consequences and precipitating factors, then I want to be part of that," Robertson told 9NEWS. "I want to do everything I can to ensure the game has a future, but also has the most safe future possible for young student-athletes both that are in my care and those that that I’ll never see."

Robertson is currently a high school athletic director in Grand Haven, Michigan. He said the students were a driving force in his decision to participate in the study. 

The Diagnose CTE Research Project is studying 240 former football players between 45 to 74 years old for seven years. The goal is to collect and analyze any markers that could help detect CTE while someone is living. Currently, CTE diagnoses can only be made after a person dies.

Robertson is a member of the Colorado College Hall of Fame. The former linebacker believed he could have received 30 to 40 concussions during his playing time. 

Credit: Scott Robertson

"I grew up and was part of a time period where you get hit hard in the head you know you get fuzzy or see stars and the idea was that was just part of the game and you get back out there and do it again, and again, and again," he said. "Today with the advancements of understanding and the knowledge that has been gained, those same collisions would require someone to sit out at least for part of the game if not the [rest of the] game or more games."

On Tuesday, the Concussion Legacy Foundation announced former Denver Broncos star Damaryius Thomas had stage 2 CTE. The concussion legacy foundation stated Thomas developed depression, panic attacks and had trouble with his memory before he died. 

Robertson hopes his study will one day curb the number of players impacted by the disease by being able to diagnose someone who is still alive. 

"The fact that they were able to diagnose that he had some CTE, that does give me great pause," Robertson added. "I'm a big believer of science and value of medicine and if I can contribute in some way, I think being part of the study I can do that."

Robertson said he has done multiple CAT scans, a psychological evaluation and even a spinal tap as part of this study. Due to the pandemic, the timeline on study has blurred, but he expects to have his third check-up with researchers in the next two years. 

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