News On Brain Injuries Not Good For NFL, But More Research Must Be Done

More News On Brain Injuries We can only hope the news is not as bad as it appears, that further research will find some mitigating explanations for the findings....

More News On Brain Injuries

We can only hope the news is not as bad as it appears, that further research will find some mitigating explanations for the findings.

That’s the hope. The reality is that football as we know it does terrible damage to the brains of some of the people who play it.

A study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association contained no cheery news. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain disease caused by trauma and resulting in a number of mental malfunctions, runs rampant among players of the sport (though it can only truly be detected after death, through dissection of the brain).

CTE was diagnosed in 177 former players or nearly 90 percent of brains studied for the JAMA report. That included 110 of 111 brains from former NFL players; 48 of 53 college players; nine of 14 semi-professional players, seven of eight Canadian Football league players; and three of 14 high school players. The disease was not apparent in the brains of two younger players.

The average age of death among all players studied was 66. There were 18 suicides among the 177 diagnosed. Many of those ultimately diagnosed with CTE suffered from depression, disorientation, confusion, behavioral changes and headaches. The study did not control for people who might have had a family disposition to brain disease or depression.

On Tuesday, before the start of training camp, New England Patriots receiver Andrew Hawkins announced his retirement. He said he would be donating his brain to science.
 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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