Brain disease found in 92% of NFL football players

Midland Daily News

February 8, 2023

The full technical term is Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.

But it’s better known as CTE — a degenerative brain disease that’s been found in several professional football players after years and years of taking hits to the head. There was even a major motion picture made about its discovery called “Concussion” in 2015.

A recent study at Boston University has found that 92% of the brains of former NFL players had CTE. To put that in perspective, the university’s Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine reports that 345 brains of former NFL players had CTE out of the 376 studied. Boston University is home to a full CTE research center.

Super Bowl 57 will be played Sunday in Arizona, and Dr. Ann McKee who is the director of the CTE Center at BU, said the timing of the research and information being released just ahead of the sports world’s most popular championship works out perfectly.

“All eyes are on the Super Bowl … The last time we put this out, in 2017, we had one third of this total number. It’s a reminder of how we’ve become complacent,” McKee told The Brink, a Boston University research publication. “The NFL hasn’t done anything substantial to prevent CTE or diagnose CTE; the risk is still there. The risk is high. That’s why we released it this week…”

The report from the university’s school of medicine also reports, “a 2018 Boston University study of 164 brains of men and women donated to the Framingham Heart Study found that only 1 of 164 (0.6 percent) had CTE. The lone CTE case was a former college football player.”

Last week the NFL reported concussions during the regular season for the 2022-23 schedule were up 18%, according to ESPN. The most significant talks surrounding concussions this season came after Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa embraced some extremely hard hits. According to the Sporting News, Tagovailoa had two confirmed concussions this season and on suspected concussion that caused him to miss six games.

“CTE results in a progressive decline of memory and cognition, as well as depression, suicidal behavior, poor impulse control, aggressiveness, parkinsonism, and, eventually, dementia,” a 2011 study published in the National Library of Medicine says.

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