Post-Mortem CTE Found in 87 Percent of Former Football Players

Post-Mortem CTE Found in 87 Percent of Former Football Players

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is known by many names, including punch-drunk syndrome and dementia pugilistica (DP), but the definition remains the same. It’s a type of neurodegenerative disease or dementia caused by repeated concussive or sub-concussive blows. For years, former players in the National Football League (NFL) have been coming forward claiming that their time in the NFL has increased their risk of long-term brain disorders – a fact that the NFL spent years trying to cover up despite the alarming evidence that would suggest otherwise.

When faced with handing over documents regarding concussions and the connection to long-term brain disorders, the NFL refused and instead, has settled with former players that sued. Continuous research on traumatic brain disorders and CTE show just how widespread and common this condition is across all levels of play. The latest study out of the Boston University School of Medicine and the VA Boston Healthcare System found that after examining 202 brains that belonged to former football players of all levels, 187 of them had CTE – 87 percent.

Out of the 187 brains that tested positive for CTE, 177 of those brains were from former football players that had been playing on average of 15 years or more with the highest amount of cases coming from former NFL players.  In high school football, 3 out of 14 were diagnosed; 48 of 53 who played in college; and 9 of 14 who played semi-professionally.

While results may be startling, it is important to note that the brains donated for CTE research were donated by concerned families. Traumatic brain injuries and CTE symptoms include dementia, depression, loss of memory and cognitive function, as well as mood swings and personality changes. Family members of those who passed often note a gradual personality change of their loved one to that of an aggressive nature. Autopsy results after a string of suicides of former NFL players in 2012 showed they were all suffering from the same degenerative brain disease that could have lead them into taking their own lives.

In recent years the NFL has made numerous rule changes to the game in order to prevent the number of concussions on the field and have also developed a concussion protocol to help identify concussions more quickly – mere moments from the time of impact.

Every year, millions of people in the United States suffer a traumatic brain injury; however, when a concussion occurs, the signs might not be immediately apparent and may be hard to diagnose, even by a medical professional. Effects from a concussion may only last a few days, but can cause lasting damage for the rest of a life time. At Goldberg, Persky & White, P.C., we are dedicated to helping injured individuals and are available to discuss your needs in a free consultation. By working with the best medical professionals, GPW has the ability and opportunity to fight for the compensation you deserve.



Jesse Mez, M.D, et. al “Clinicopathlogical Evaluation of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in Players of American Football,” Journal of American Medical Association (July 25, 2017). [Link]


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