Study links longer football careers to more severe cases of CTE

25 Juillet, 2017, 23:46 | Author: Marie-Claire Cellier
  • Michigan NCAA college football head coach Jim Harbaugh speaks at Big Ten Media Day in Chicago Monday

Of the total 202 former football players in the study, CTE was diagnosed in 177 of them - which is almost 90 percent of the brains studied.

Eventually, the condition described by Martland was named dementia pugilistica, and now is known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Researchers from the VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University School of Medicine found "overwhelming circumstantial evidence that CTE is linked to football", neuropathologist Ann McKee, who diagnosed numerous brains, said, according to the Washington Post.

While they found evidence of the disease across all levels of play, the highest percentage was found among those who competed at the highest level; all but one of the 111 brains belonging to ex-NFL players were diagnosed post-mortem with CTE. "And more importantly, this is a problem in football that we need to address and we need to address now in order to bring some hope and optimism to football players".

Researchers at Boston University and the Boston Veterans Affairs health system examined the brains of 202 high school, college, semi-professional and National Football League players for evidence of the disease.

The new study results were published July 25 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. She said he had struggled nearly eight years with frightening symptoms including confusion, memory loss and behavior changes.

"Some people have heads made of concrete, and it doesn't really affect some of those guys", he said. CTE can only be definitively diagnosed after death.

Stabler's family had willingly donated Stabler's brain to the study, as had most of the players Dr. McKee examined, leading her to warn people reading the study that "there's a tremendous selection bias".

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The former Chicago Bears running back Mike Adamle said he and others have formed a "fraternity" of players who have suspected cases of the disease.

That includes the brain of the single player who did not test positive for CTE.

In the meantime, the brain bank has about 425 donated brains at its disposal, including those from men and women who played a variety of sports, as well as military veterans, with many more pledged. While researchers are working to diagnose CTE via a blood test or imaging, the only scientifically accepted method to detect CTE now is a postmortem examination of the brain. "It's always tricky for us to get funding".

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"We appreciate the work done by Dr. McKee and her colleagues for the value it adds in the ongoing quest for a better understanding of CTE", NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said in a statement to USA TODAY Sports. "But CTE is real". "I just don't feel right all the time".

They went on to say that several other football-related factors - such as age at first exposure to football, duration of play, player position, cumulative hits and linear and rotational acceleration of hits - could influence CTE risk and disease severity.

The severity of CTE found in a player's brain varied with their level of play, according to the new report. He was not included in the current report. But there is a giant caveat - the best way to study that question (of a link between CTE and youth players) is to start studying kids and follow them prospectively. There were 18 suicides among the 177 diagnosed.

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