New data collected has found evidence of degenerative brain disease in 76 of 79 deceased former NFL players, information was collected by the nation’s largest brain bank focused on traumatic brain injury.
Startling new data
The NFL is still in a long drawn-out legal battle over the suffering of concussions and how they can protect and prevent these type of head trauma injuries to their athletes.
The numbers are alarming as they are considerably higher than previous studies have found, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ brain repository which is situated in Bedford, Massachusetts have compiled data surrounding the appearance of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in former NFL players but the new findings are more than double their previous indications.
One important notion that has to be kept in mind is that the numbers are likely to be askew as most of the brain donations are from those players who may have suspected that they suffered with head injuries that would reveal itself as CTE.
A startling case yet prime example of this would be Chicago Bears star Dave Duerson, who wanted to preserve his brain in order for it to be inspected for possible CTE and head trauma from years of playing professional football, unfortunately committing suicide by shooting himself in the chest in 2011.
The link and lawsuit
Despite the possible skewed numbers, there is undoubtably a strong link between football and traumatic brain injury, Dr. Ann McKee the director of the brain bank explained the findings:
"Obviously this high percentage of living individuals is not suffering from CTE, playing football, and the higher the level you play football and the longer you play football, the higher your risk.”
An NFL spokesman has yet to respond to inquisitions about the findings after numerous requests.
One of the more recent cases and high profile findings surrounds the brain disease suffered by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, CTE signs were discovered in the brain of former NFL player, Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend before driving to a Chiefs practice facility, where he committed suicide in front of team officials.
The importance of the new data is measured in its accordance with the current legal battle that is in existence in today's NFL, the prevalence of the brain disease was one of the major points in the legal battle involving concussions, players in the lawsuit have accused the league of concealing a link between football and brain disease.