Does football cause brain damage?
According to new research by Boston University’s School of Medicine, ninety-nine percent (110 out of 111) of former NFL football players who donated their brains to be studied turned out to have the devastating disorder called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).
Research also showed these additional statistics regarding CTE at other levels besides the NFL.
Ninety-one percent of college football players
Eighty-eight percent of Canadian football players
Twenty-one percent of high school players
These statistics are concerning because lower levels of exposure to this sport are still causing brain damage. Symptoms from CTE range from problems with thinking, memory, mood, behavior, lack of impulse control, aggression, depression, impaired judgment, memory loss, paranoia, confusion, and progressive dementia.
There appears to be a relationship between repetitive hits to the head and the development of CTE.
It should be noted that loved ones are more likely to donate a brain to be studied because the individual in question was impaired or sick. This makes these numbers skewed and doesn’t tell us the true risk of developing CTE in former football players.
At Factor Physical Therapy, we work with athletes after sustaining concussions in order to protect them from further injury, help them heal and accelerate their recovery.