CTE Rampant Among Those With Frequent Head Trauma
Research points to long-term brain damage
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Dec 3, 2012 10:23 AM CST
Repeated blows to the head may contribute to long-term brain disease.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Concern is growing over a link between repeated hits to the head and brain disease—and a new study adds fuel to the fire. Researchers studied donated brain samples from 85 deceased people who'd experienced frequent, mild episodes of traumatic brain injury, and found signs of a certain brain disease in 80% of them. Almost all had played sports, the New York Times notes. The disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, can result in memory loss, dementia, and depression; there is no cure.

The four-year study reviewed people from ages 17 to 98, and vastly expanded the number of known cases. The affected group included 50 football players, 33 of whom played in the NFL, including longtime Chicago Bear Dave Duerson. Also included were high school and college football players, pro boxers, and NHL players (Derek Boogard), as well as veterans. Researchers, however, weren't able to prove a link between CTE and repeated head trauma, nor could they offer a percentage-point risk of CTE among NFL players. "Still, this is probably more widespread than we think," says a co-author.

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Showing 3 of 8 comments
midget_farmers
Dec 4, 2012 12:20 PM CST
Wow... so you are telling me that repeated blows to the head and trauma to our brain can cause long term ill effects???? I for one am astonished!
fractal
Dec 3, 2012 12:27 PM CST
It should surprise me that no one on this thread is talking about eliminating the dangerous parts of professional sports---clearly the cost to a human consciousness is way too high. But it doesn't.
JackNelsonSteward
Dec 3, 2012 11:13 AM CST
Wow ... really? Repeatedly taking whacks to your head contributes to brain injury?!!! STOP THE PRESSES ... !!! jeeez ....