The Washington Post (7/25, Maese) reports that investigators looking into “the link between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy” have “found that 99 percent of the brains donated by families of former NFL players showed signs of the neurodegenerative disease.” Altogether, the investigators “examined 202 brains that belonged to men who played football at all levels and were later donated for research.” CTE was found “in 177 of them – 87 percent.” Of the brains that belonged to men who had played in the NFL, 110 of 111 were found to have CTE.
The AP (7/25, Tanner) reports, “A panel of neuropathologists made the diagnosis by examining brain tissue, using recent criteria from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke…said” lead author Dr. Ann McKee.
TIME (7/25, Sifferlin) reports that the study indicated “the severity of CTE symptoms appeared to progress the more a person played the sport.”
The Boston Globe (7/25, Freyer) reports that “even those with mild CTE had suffered from disabling mental problems, including agitation, impulsivity, explosive tempers, and memory loss,” while “more than half contemplated suicide.”
USA Today (7/25, Perez) reports that “the most common cause of death (27%) among those with mild stages of CTE (stages 1-2) was suicide.” The findings were published July 25 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
According to Psychiatric News (7/25), the study authors wrote, “Behavior or mood symptoms may be the initial presentation for a subset of individuals with CTE, or alternatively, CTE pathology may lower the threshold for psychiatric manifestations in susceptible individuals.”
— “The latest brain study examined 111 former NFL players. Only one didn’t have CTE.,” Rick Maese, Washington Post, July 25, 2017.