The results are hard-hitting: testing 111 former NFL player’s brains showed signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in 110. CTE is a brain condition, caused notably by hit to the head, leading to mood swings, memory loss, and a wide range of personality changes, including everything from depression to violence.
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The study was published in July’s the Journal of the American Medical Association. A previously conducted study was larger, with 202 people, all who had played played football at some point in their lives. CTE was present in all levels of the sport; 48 of 53 college players had it, and 3 of 14 high schoolers had signs of CTE as well.
The study, of course, isn’t really representative of all former football players, as the sample size included donated brains from family members who had noticed symptoms. Ann McKee, the study’s senior author, noted the skewed sample, but still believes the study warrants some action, such as introducing the sport to children at an older age, or limited the number of games per season, and reducing full-contact practice.
“Even though this is a biased sample, the sheer volume of the numbers indicate that the problem is more prevalent than previously considered….it’s concerning”
-Ann McKee, Senior Study Author
There’s more stories from 2017. Check out the Best of 2017 series here