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Dementia Risk for NFL Players

By on September 15, 2014

Danger playing professional football is not news, but developing dementia as a result of playing in the NFL is cause for alarm.

National Football League players have a nearly 30% chance of developing Alzheimer’s or dementia, according to new report released by the attorneys representing a group of former players. The players are currently suing the NFL over long-term consequences of concussion-related injuries and the lingering ill effects of their athletic careers.

The new numbers were crunched by the Analysis Research and Planning Corporation, an actuarial firm hired by the litigating players and their attorneys. According the data, roughly 14 percent of NFL players will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at some point during their lifetimes.

Another 14% will develop symptoms of moderate dementia.

The report suggests NFL alums are also about twice as likely to develop ALS, Parkinson’s, early-onset Alzheimer’s or dementia than the general population; the numbers are also more fuel for critics who say the league has long failed to do enough to protect its players and educate them about the health consequences of their profession.


Extreme caution should be exercised when playing full contact sports.

The players and the league have already agreed to a $765 million settlement last year. But that total has yet to be affirmed by federal judges. The report will be used by judges during the settlement approval process.

A study conducted in 2012 by the CDC showed NFL players were more than three times as likely to die from neurodegenerative diseases when compared the general population.


Content for this article from the UPI website.