[credit provider=”CBS Sports”]
A study shows that an alarming number of NFL brains have signs of degenerative brain disease. The rate among professional football players is much higher than others that have suffered repeated head injuries.In a study released by Boston University’s centre for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy (via ABCNews.com) 34 of 35 (97%) brains from former professional football players suffered from CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy).
The disease involves the degeneration of brain tissue and the accumulation of a protein also seen in Alzheimer’s patients. CTE can eventually lead to “full-blown dementia.”
In total, the study looked at 85 brains from deceased veterans and athletes “with histories of repeated head trauma.” Of the 50 brains from non-professional football players, 34 (68%) showed signs of CTE. And nine of those brains were from former college football players.
Of course, by now it is not a mystery that the NFL is in a state of crisis when it comes to head injuries. But this study shows that the rate of brain disease may be even higher than anybody feared.