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NFL Players Test Positive for CTE
According to recent figures on football and brain trauma from researchers with the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University, a career in the NFL all but guarantees the degenerative brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.
Of the 91 former NFL players who donated their brains to science, 87 tested positive for CTE — a rate of 96 percent. The new data was presented in an in-depth report published by PBS Frontline.
Researchers at the VA and Boston University tested the brains of 165 individuals, pros and non-pros, who played football in high school and beyond. The study found CTE in 79 percent of all football players.
More than 40 percent of those who tested positive for CTE played either offensive or defensive lineman. While CTE was originally thought to be the result too many violent concussive collisions, new research suggests the cumulative effects of minor head trauma may be even more damaging.
While signs of CTE can be identified in the brains of living players, using an MRI, the disease can only be definitively diagnosed posthumously.
Over the last several years, the NFL has come under fire for its failure to address the dangers of head trauma and its alleged role in covering up the link between football-related head injuries and CTE.
Doctors have only just recently begun to understand the signs and symptoms of CTE. The disease is thought to cause headaches, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, memory loss, balance problems and variety of other mood and behavior changes.
Content provided by United Press International.
Image of Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson (33) runs over Philadelphia Eagles safety Kurt Coleman (42) and causes his helmet to fly off during an NFL football game on Sunday, September 9, 2012. The Eagles defeated the Browns 17-16. (AP Photo/Kevin Terrell)