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Study finds 99% of donated brains have CTE

Discussion in 'NFL Football Forum' started by Tuck, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. Tuck

    Tuck Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Semi OT: Study finds 99% of donated brains have CTE

    More evidence of what we already know.


    Researchers studying the link between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy found that 99 percent of the brains donated by families of former NFL players showed signs of the neurodegenerative disease, according to a new study published Tuesday.

    In all, researchers from Boston University School of Medicine and the VA Boston Healthcare System examined 202 brains that belonged to men who played football at all levels and were later donated for research. They found CTE in 177 of them — 87 percent.

    While they found evidence of the disease across all levels of play, the highest percentage was found among those who competed at the highest level; all but one of the 111 brains belonging to ex-NFL players were diagnosed post-mortem with CTE.​


    The latest brain study examined 111 former NFL players. Only one didn’t have CTE.
     
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  2. Froob

    Froob Independent Investigator & pliable af PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Give Roger time, he wants to get this one right.
     
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  3. n6249c

    n6249c Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    New CTE study - it's BAD NEWS.

    Just saw this, headline on CNN's front page was "Out of 111 former NFL players, only 1 didn't have CTE".

    From the story:

    "Out of 202 deceased former football players total -- a combination of high school, college and professional players -- CTE was neuropathologically diagnosed in 177, the study said. The disease was identified in 110 out of 111 former NFL players. It was also found in three of the 14 high school players and 48 of the 53 college players.".​

    Not good.

    NFL: CTE found in 99% of studied brains from deceased players - CNN.com
     
  4. n6249c

    n6249c Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    couldn't decide whether this was OT or not...

    Mods, please feel free to flag if you think appropriate.
     
  5. bbobbo

    bbobbo 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    i'm not trying to diminish the research, but it's important to note (as the author of the report did) that this is not a randomized study, in that the brains studied usually are donated by families of players who already had some concerns about the player.

     
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  6. Elijah

    Elijah The Tom Brady Of Not Having A Gf PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It does show that the concerns are well-founded though.
     
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  7. Tuck

    Tuck Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    You're absolutely right and I fully expect the league to use that point as a basis for denying CTE is linked to football even though we all know it is.
     
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  8. Ice_Ice_Brady

    Ice_Ice_Brady AB Forever PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Ted Wells: More Probable Than Not This Is Just A Coincidence, citing Exponent
     
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  9. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Not OT, but remember that this isn't the same thing as saying "99% of players have/will have CTE."

    After all, this isn't a random sample.
     
  10. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Thanks for the link.

    I would also compare football players with the general population to compare rates of cognitive impairment factoring in drug alcohol use etc.

    My guess is that members of the general population aren't screened for CTE. This information is needed to assess the danger that playing football represents.
     
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  11. primetime

    primetime PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Alcohol and drug use don't cause pathological tau aggregation in brains. They may cause other cognitive impairments, but CTE is a degenerative disease in a category that includes senile dementia, Alzheimer's, progressive palsy, or Huntington's disease. There's little evidence that alcohol or drug use are associated with tau pathologies; indeed, there have been studies that show moderate long-term alcohol use may actually be somewhat protective against dementia, at least in women (I tend to suspect this is noise, but it is what it is).

    Alcohol poisoning can cause brain damage, but the normal consequence of alcoholism on cognitive function is a result of dependency and withdrawal and/or second-order effects such as chronic poor sleep and fatigue, not pathological brain damage.

    It's really hard to do a controlled trial with this since it's done by studying dead peoples' brains that have been donated. But there are obviously brains that have been donated that are part of the non-contact sport population.

    Of course, brains are subject to all sorts of neurodegenerative pathologies as they age. Dementia, Alzheimer's. But these all tend to present much later in life (or else in infancy); CTE has been found in an alarming number of brains of deceased teenagers and young adults, while of course nothing that such brains are a convenience sample. It's pretty alarming that a full third of donated brains who were so much as merely involved in contact sports as children presented with the specific form of tau pathology known as CTE. That's well beyond epidemic levels of incidence (with the small sample size, convenience sample caveat).
     
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    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
  12. bbobbo

    bbobbo 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    @primetime, do you have a link to that quote? i tried doing a quick search for rates of CTE in the general population but didn't find anything.
    .
     
  13. primetime

    primetime PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    My kids won't be going near organized football games, and I'll probably think long and hard about letting them play hockey or lacrosse or anything of the sort. And I played minor league pro hockey. Soccer's a good game, anyways.
     
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  14. primetime

    primetime PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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  15. SlowGettingUp

    SlowGettingUp Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    But you would expect to see it on some general population post mortems and you simply don't. Prior to the original 2005 study by Omalu of a football player cited below, CTE was only ever seen in boxers.

    Chronic traumatic encephalopathy in a National Football League player. - PubMed - NCBI

    Note the conclusions of this study were vigorously attacked by Casson, the NFL doctor. More on this very interesting dispute can be read here:

    After a public fall, the face of NFL concussion denial resurfaces
     
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  16. Fixit

    Fixit Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Find you a good youth rugby program. It's flag or touch until like 9th grade, so they can learn the game (and how to properly tackle) without putting a hurting on their developing brains.

    There's really no specialization, either. Everyone runs, passes, catches, carries, kicks, and tackles.
     
  17. robertweathers

    robertweathers PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Can't say I'm surprised.

    If this continues down the path I think it will and science is able to diagnose CTE in living people, you gotta wonder in 50 years what level of significance football will still have in our society.
     
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  18. PatsDeb

    PatsDeb PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Exactly what I was going to say. I don't want to minimize the issue becasue obviously it's a big and important one, but any study like this would be more useful if they could get players (or I guess just regular folks too) who don't have concerning symptoms to be part of a control group. Difficult, of course, to accomplish. As it stands now, if people project what this headline is saying, you are basically led to believe that every single person who plays or played professional football will end up with CTE, and I don't think that can be an accurate statement.
     
  19. YOUGOTMOSSED

    YOUGOTMOSSED In the Starting Line-Up

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    I guess this is why Paul Tagliabue got out of dodge and was promptly replaced by a sleazeball "company guy" like Goodell. :mad: The league almost certainly knew in advance that this was going to be a thing.
     
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  20. Tony2046

    Tony2046 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter Weekly Picks Winner

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    Primetime. You are one hell of a poster. I've learned a lot from posts like these (not just from you) over the years. Thanks


    Side note: Just had an enlightening discussion with someone using links and info you provided the forum regarding a particular book the other day. Thanks again.
     
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