A recent study has shown that of the brains that were donated by NFL players, ninety-nine percent of them have shown the diagnostic signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disorder.
According to Science Magazine, a study of 202 brains that were donated to science by former NFL players showed that ninety-nine percent of them displayed symptoms of CTE. This disorder is associated with repetitive head trauma, which is extremely common in the sport of football.
All of the brains that were donated to the study were from players that had shown symptoms of neurological issues during their lives.
The researchers included data from former college and professional players that were not in the NFL. They found CTE in the brains of 48 out of 53 former college football players, and they found that eighty-six percent of former professional players displayed symptoms.
The study also revealed that all of the football players affected by CTE showed behavioral and cognitive symptoms associated with the disease, such as mood swings, depression, and problems with higher-order thinking.
The results of this study left some scientists skeptical of the interpretation of the results, as they thought that the study didn’t represent a wide enough range of players. For example, it didn’t include football players that never showed any symptoms of brain disorders during their lives, but may have had multiple concussions during their careers.
The NFL funded part of this study, and the league stated that studies involving brains of former players are “important to further advancing the science and progress related to head trauma”.