Brain damage affects 99% of deceased NFL players: Study
Washington, United States - As a new American football season is set to begin, researchers examining the brains of deceased National Football League (NFL) players have found that 99 percent of them showed signs of degenerative disease - believed to be caused by repeated blows to the head.
Researchers found striking evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in 110 of the 111 donated brains of players who played in the National Football League, according to the study published on Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
CTE causes symptoms including memory loss, vertigo, depression and dementia. Problems can crop up years after a player’s career has ended. The NFL has faced growing scrutiny in recent years linked to the issue of concussions and head trauma, with the league agreeing in 2015 on a US$1bn settlement to resolve thousands of lawsuits by former players suffering from neurological problems.
Along with NFL players, researchers also examined the brains of those who had played in high school, college, semiprofessionally and in the Canadian Football League.
Of the total 202 players ex- amined, the authors of the study from Boston University found that 87 per cent of the players - whose median age at death was 66 years old - showed signs of CTE.
“These findings suggest that CTE may be related to prior participation in football and that a high level of play may be related to substantial disease burden,” the study authors wrote.