By Julianna LeMieux — July 26, 2017
Football is not the same game it was 10 years ago. Evidence over the last decade has been mounting that parts of the game are harmful to some of its players. Specifically, those who experience repeated concussions or head trauma, resulting in a type of irreversible and degenerative brain damage called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
A new report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), entitled Clinicopathological Evaluation of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in Players of American Football brought this issue into the spotlight this week, largely because of its splashy results..........What the study suggests is that some football players will end up with brain damage. However, the percentage of how many is still up in the air - way up in the air. I don't want to deflate this important work (I'm not Tom Brady, after all), but, any further numbers or details are yet to be determined.
The main reason for this lies in where the brain tissue that was analyzed came from - which is a brain donation program. This means that the family of football players donated their bodies after death. It is not unreasonable to assume that there was a reason to do so, for example, that their loved one was experiencing depression, mood swings or other effects of brain trauma. So, the brain samples create data that are highly skewed in the direction of people who were experiencing some symptoms of CTE. The authors even state in their paper that "caution must be used in interpreting the high frequency of CTE in this sample, and estimates of prevalence cannot be concluded or implied from this sample."..........To Read More.....