New Study Finds CTE in 110 of 111 Brains of Former NFL Players
“It is no longer debatable whether or not there is a problem in football — there is a problem,” said Dr. Ann McKee, who led the study
A new study by Boston University researcher Dr. Ann McKee examined the brains of 202 deceased football players and found that 110 of the 111 brains of former NFL players had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The results were published the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The brains were donated by families of former NFL players who showed signs of the disease. The study was not conducted on a set of random former NFL players, and Dr. McKee notes “tremendous selection bias” in the samples.
“It is no longer debatable whether or not there is a problem in football — there is a problem,” Dr. McKee said, according to the New York Times.
High school players in the study had mile cases while college and professionals had more severe cases. CTE was found in 177 of the 202 brains.
The disease can cause impaired judgment, aggression, memory loss and depression. CTE can only be diagnosed postmortem.
The study examined players as young as 23 years old and as old as 89. The brains were also from all player positions including 44 linemen, 10 linebackers, 17 defensive backs, seven quarterbacks.
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Former NFL Hall of Famer Ken Stabler was among the brains after he asked that he be examined when he was battling colon cancer. McKee determined that Stabler had a “moderately severe” case of CTE.
The family of the only NFL player without CTE did not authorize for Dr. McKee to publicly identify him.
Last year, Jeff Miller, the NFL’s senior vice president for health and safety, testified before the House of Representatives and was asked by Illinois congresswoman Jan Schakowsky whether he thinks “there is a link between football and degenerative brain disorders like CTE.”
“The answer to that question is certainly yes,” Miller responded.
Last September, the NFL has pledged $100 million for concussion-related research.
This article originally appeared on Si.com