Sport

Boston study takes deep look at brain disease's toll on football players

Boston study takes deep look at brain disease's toll on football players”

The NFL, which has been ruled to (but has yet to actually) pay $5 million each to thousands of players diagnosed with head-injury caused neurological diseases, and only acknowledged in March 2016 a link between football-related head trauma and CTE, has historically been sketchy about the issue.

The study found signs of CTE in the brains of 91 percent of the 53 former college players whose brains were studied and 21 percent of the former high school players.

McKee cautions, however, that researchers can not extrapolate from the numbers and come to conclusions about CTE.

CTE has been linked to repeated blows to the head - the 2015 movie Concussion chronicled the discovery of CTE's connection to football.

Of the 202 brains in the study among players from all levels of football, 87 percent were revealed to have CTE.

The progressive impact of CTE on the human brain can be detected via symptoms such as - but not exclusively - dementia, hypomimia, speech impediments, vertigo and deafness. This study represents the largest and the most methodologically rigorous description of a series of patients with CTE ever published.

"While I'm not willing to say football is doomed and I also am unwilling to make a decision [on a young person playing football] for other individuals". 110 of 111 - that's 99% - of former National Football League players had CTE. Symptoms of CTE, which can only be diagnosed with an autopsy, include memory loss, confusion, and depression. 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. Although such abnormal tau clusters are found in brain diseases including Alzheimer's, their location in CTE is unique-near small blood vessels, and most often near the bottom of sulci, the deep folds in the brain's cortex.

In addition, neuropathological severity of CTE was distributed across the highest level of play: three former high school players had mild pathology and the majority of former college (56%), semiprofessional (56%) and professional (86%) players having severe pathology.

At this point, there aren't any clinical diagnosis criteria for CTE, Daneshvar said.

"What I would like to see going forward is comprehensive, collective determination to solve the CTE problem", said McKee in a statement. "It's unclear there was a position that an athlete could play that could not develop CTE". CTE was not found in the brains of two who played football before high school.

"This is quite a biased sample", said Rabinovici, who wrote an editorial accompanying the article.

Currently, CTE can only be diagnosed after death.

Response: This is not a population-based study and can not be used to determine how common CTE is in the general population. But according to SB Nation, this protocol works only some of the time. But because the risk of these diseases increases with age, and because the team found that men with more severe CTE were more likely to have these accompanying diseases, the presence of the other diseases could be coincidental, and due to age.

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