This information was not only new, but really took up time on the airwaves with its information. For some this may be a head scratching, but for most in the know it was really confirmation of what the popular line of thinking has been. Really, if you think about this in a vacuum, brain trauma is bad, and increased exposure over long periods of time is real bad.
Here is a recap from CTVNews in Canada;
Former NFL players appear to be at an unusually high risk of dying from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or Lou Gehrig’s disease, suggests a new study that once again highlights the dangers of the game of football.
The study, which appears in the journal Neurology, found that the death rate from those three diseases among a group of former NFL players was about three times what one would expect from the general population.
The study looked at 3,439 former players who had at least five playing seasons from 1959-1988 with the NFL. The average age of the study participants was 57 and only 334 players – about 10 per cent of them – have now died.
Researchers compared the players’ deaths to a comparable group of American men and found that in 10 of the former NFL players, either Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or Lou Gehrig’s disease (also called ALS) was listed as the cause of death.
That’s about three times the general rate for American men, the researchers reported.
I would also like to take this time to make sure we are not vilifying the NFL or football for that matter. Sure the sport has plenty of brain injury, but concussions and repetitive blows to the head are not unique to the gridiron. Soccer for one is a sport that is both understudied and had potential for chronic cases. In the sport of baseball the catcher position is an area of concern. Hockey, rugby, rodeo, Aussie Rules all have a place in this discussion.
Mostly, remember that kids are now exposed to sports at a much younger age then this study group, and the group also was playing before the 90’s – before everyone got bigger, faster and stronger.