Yikes! Mothers don’t let your children play football!
The evidence indicating that American football does lasting harm to players is mounting.
Written by Katherine Ellen Foley
July 25, 2017
It’s the most damning evidence against the American football establishment to date.
A new study has found that 110 of 111 deceased former National Football League (NFL) players had evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), or permanent brain damage as a result of repeated blunt force injuries to the head. Such injuries can result in behavioral changes or cognitive decline, like memory loss or dementia.
The study, by a team of researchers led by Boston University and the Veteran’s Association in Boston, was published July 25 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The researchers were looking at the association of CTE in football players in general, and were funded in part by both the Concussion Legacy Foundation and the NFL itself. More broadly, they found that 177 of 202 deceased players who played at any level (including college and semi-professional) for an average 15 years (ranging from roughly 10 to 20 years) also had evidence of CTE.
Researchers conducted the study in two parts. First, a team of neuroscientists interviewed family members about the football players’ health and behavior. They asked for evidence of any kind of substance abuse, Parkinson’s disease, PTSD, sleep disorders, and even chronic headaches. Next, a separate team blinded to the interview results performed examinations on the late players’ brains and looked for evidence researchers previously decided were indicative of CTE—things like the lesions or patterns of tangled or darkened fibers in the brain.