New Study: 99% Percent of NFL Brains Examined Had CTE
A Boston Brain Bank has studied the brains of 202 former football players at various levels, from high school to college to professional.
Ninety percent of those brains —177 brains — had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, better known as CTE, the brain disease that has been closely associated with concussions and taking multiple blows to the head. This is according to a new report published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
When you start to look at NFL players things get even worse. The doctors studied the brains of 111 former NFL players; 110 of those brains had CTE — that’s 99% of them. When it comes to college brains, 48 out of the 53 brains studied had CTE.
It should be noted that this study doesn’t say 90% of people who play football will get CTE. It’s important to remember that this is a selective sample, and in these cases brains were donated after a career with multiple concussions or after the player started to act erratically.
Dr. Ann McKee is the lead author of the study. She said:
“There are many questions that remain unanswered…how common is this?…How many years of football is too many?…What is the genetic risk? Some players do not have evidence of this disease despite long playing years,”
After these reports came out, the NFL issued a statement saying how important the study was and that they “will continue to work with a wide range of experts to improve the health of current and former NFL athletes.”
CTE is a disease that can only be found after someone has died. In the 2000s, Nigerian neuropathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu began studying the brains of ex-NFL players, finding the disease on numerous occasions.
At first, NFL denied there was a link between football and brain injuries. However, the league has changed their tune recently, and in 2016 the NFL agreed to a $1 billion dollar settlement to be paid out to thousands of former players.
SOURCE: NY Times