CTE Identified in Nearly All Donated Brains from NFL Players

Urban Meyer enters his sixth season as head coach at Ohio State

After examining brains donated from 202 former players of the USA, researchers found that 87% showed the diagnostic signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a neuro-degenerative disease associated with repetitive head trauma.

Many donors agreed to contribute to the research because they suffered CTE symptoms before death - and suffered repeated concussions during their football-playing years. The study doesn't confirm that the condition is common in all football players; it reflects high occurrence in samples at a Boston brain bank that studies CTE. "I wouldn't let any of my relatives play football".

"There's a tremendous selection bias", she said, explaining how numerous brains were donated specifically by families who had suspected that their loved ones were suffering from CTE, which researchers believe is caused by repeated blows to the head.

That won't stop Sarah Lindsay from encouraging her 12-year-old son Joshua to fulfill his dream of playing in the NFL. Other lifestyle factors such as alcohol, steroids, smoking, diet and drugs may also play a role.

Currently, CTE can only be diagnosed after death.

"The answer to that question is certainly yes", Miller responded.

"Football is not a contact sport, it's a collision sport".

The results have been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Although the link to boxing is widely accepted, the connection between CTE and American football was only publicly acknowledged by the NFL in 2016. Three of 14 high school players also showed signs of the brain disease, as well as 48 of 53 college players. The disease was not found in brains from two younger players.

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Ninety-nine percent of former National Football League players who donated their brain to science turned out to have the devastating disorder chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), according to a new report.

Hopefully, the percentage of former players with CTE will decline as more generations of athletes play the game. You can get another heart but you can't get another brain. She said he had struggled nearly eight years with frightening symptoms including confusion, memory loss and behavior changes.

Robinson said the League is trying to mitigate the danger by changing the way a player tackles, using a shoulder instead of a helmet.

"But then defensively, when they're defenseless instead of getting a penalty you have to him them in the knees and they can be out", Johnson said. All the players involved in the study had donated their brains for research. Because CTE can only be diagnosed post-mortem, it is impossible to know whether he has it, but his doctors say he has frontal lobe damage, likely from all those hits he took on the field. With CTE though, there is a really unique pattern of this protein tau. "I just don't know what he went through".

On the other hand, all high school players diagnosed with CTE displayed mild signs of disease, the investigators found. He was not included in the current report.

Overall, 87 percent - or 177 players - had CTE.

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