Ummmm … is that bad? That’s definitely bad. I’ve seen that movie Concussion with Will Smith, so I’m definitely going to assume that, yes, finding a degenerative brain disease in 99% of deceased NFL players is not a good thing.
According to a study published in the medical journal JAMA, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, known as CTE, was found in 99% of deceased NFL players’ brains that were donated to scientific research.
I’m not math guy, but that definitely sounds very bad.
The neurodegenerative brain disease can be found in individuals who have been exposed to repeated head trauma. The disease is pathologically marked by an buildup of abnormal tau protein in the brain that can disable neuropathways and lead to a variety of clinical symptoms. These include memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, aggression, depression, anxiety, impulse control issues and sometimes suicidal behavior.
It can only be formally diagnosed with an autopsy, and most cases, although not all, have been seen in either veterans or people who played contact sports, particularly American football.
Dr. Ann McKee, director of Boston University’s CTE Center and coauthor of the new study, said:
“There’s no question that there’s a problem in football. That people who play football are at risk for this disease. And we urgently need to find answers for not just football players, but veterans and other individuals exposed to head trauma.”
The NFL also released a statement on the new study published in the JAMA, via CNN:
“The medical and scientific communities will benefit from this publication and the NFL will continue to work with a wide range of experts to improve the health of current and former NFL athletes….there are still many unanswered questions relating to the cause, incidence and prevalence of long-term effects of head trauma such as CTE.”
You can also check out the wildly extensive New York Times report here.