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It turns out Jake Paul retracted comments made last year about showing early signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) almost immediately after making them, admitting he ‘misspoke’ about his medical situation.
In April, Paul said that, after starting his boxing career, he was already showing signs of CTE - a brain degeneration that is thought to be caused by repeated trauma to the head.
Speaking during a media appearance ahead of his bout against Ben Askren, he said he’d undergone brain scans but added that he ‘loves the sport’ and doesn’t regret becoming a fighter.
Paul said: "It's a dangerous sport. That's why, when people question my dedication to it, it's like, I'm showing up every single day.
"I'm putting my mental health on the line, my brain is on the line. Like you said, I've gone and gotten brain scans and [I] have early signs of CTE.
"But, I love this sport and wouldn't trade it for anything else. I'm a fighter and people will see that whether it's after Saturday night or whether it's a year from now they will see that I'm a fighter."
But not long after, he issued a retraction, saying he shouldn’t have ‘misspoken’ about what is a ‘very serious’ condition.
I wanna retract my comments made about CTE as it relates to me and my medical history.— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) April 16, 2021
It’s a very serious condition that I should not have misspoken about.
Paul tweeted: “I wanna retract my comments made about CTE as it relates to me and my medical history.
“It’s a very serious condition that I should not have misspoken about.”
According to the NHS, typical symptoms of the condition include short-term memory loss, changes in mood and slurred speech.
But one doctor argued that it is much harder to diagnose than Paul perhaps realises, having shared a video in the wake of his comments to say his claims ‘can’t be true’.
Dr David Abbasi said in the clip: "Typically you have to be dead to know that you have a diagnosis of CTE. Let me explain that.
Jake Paul claims 🧠CTE diagnosis at Triller press conference for fight vs @Benaskren?!— David Abbasi, MD (@DrDavidAbbasi) April 15, 2021
I explain why it CAN’T BE TRUE... Because he’s NOT DEAD?!
😷RT to Share!👍🏼#jakepaul #cte #jakepaulcte #benaskren #PaulAskren #Triller #mmatwitter pic.twitter.com/UK3pQfrO0N
So it’s not something that we can typically see on scanning or imaging of the brain, including CT scans or MRI scans.”
Abbasi explained how there is 'ongoing research' to try and find out how to diagnose the condition in living patients, but that generally it involves autopsy after death.
He continued: "Typically, to get that diagnosis of CTE you actually, physically have to do an autopsy on someone’s brain – cut the brain open and expose the brain tissue to different types of stains. And what’s it looking for is an abnormal protein or a tau protein, that will show up and stain differently than a healthy or normal brain, so in 2021 at least that’s the way we’re diagnosing CTE.”
Abbasi added: “As far as I’m aware […] that’s absolutely not true.”
The next day, Paul retracted his claims.
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