A Boston University study finds a strong link between repeated head trauma and an incurable brain disease.
(Image Source: CMCForum ) BY HARUMENDHAH HELMY ANCHOR BRICE SANDER There’s a strong link between repetitive blows to the head and a degenerative, incurable brain disease known as CTE — that’s according to a study by a Boston University neuroscientist, who studied the brains of 85 athletes and veterans. “... it included football players at various levels, boxers, hockey players and veterans. It found evidence of CTE in 68 men, almost all of them athletes.” “Of 68 donated brains, half of the CTE involve professional football players.” The study focused on evidence of routine mild hits — not even hits considered “concussion-level” — over an extended period of time. The study found evidence of CTE in the brains of two high school football players who died in their teens. According to a BU website , as it progresses “ [CTE] is associated with memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, impulse control problems, aggression, depression, and, eventually, progressive dementia.” CTE is impossible to diagnose prior to death. In an interview with PBS, lead researcher Ann McKee acknowledges the limits of the study — it looked at the brains of football players who were already known to have had mental problems. “The strongest criticism is that McKee and her colleagues have overstated the likely prevalence of CTE among football players, because they are working from a skewed data set.” The study has brought new tension to the ongoing discussion of how football players should be better protected from long-term brain diseases. The news of the study also comes after Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher committed an apparent murder suicide over the weekend. His autopsy is ongoing, but ABC News says Belcher’s suicide “ mirror other NFL players who have committed suicide.” The study is the most extensive yet on CTE — doubling the number of known cases of the disease.