In the photo: American Football Players / Photo by: KeithJJ via Pixabay
There has been an extensive amount of controversy surrounding chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE among people who play professional football.The condition, which cannot be diagnosed until after a person's death, entails damages to the brain's natural functions following extensive amounts of trauma to the head.It is a concern that causes memory loss, dementia and depression among many.
An analysis of the brains of various deceased football players who had competed in the National Football League found that almost all of them have experienced some form of CTE.This is according to a new analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The analysis entailed more than 200 brains of various people who had played competitive football.The most alarming review came from how 111 of those brains came from those who competed in the NFL.Only one of those did not have any signs of CTE.
The brains that were used were ones that had been donated for research following their deaths.Many individual players agreed to allow themselves to be used in the study before their deaths while family members were responsible for helping to get some of these to be used in the study.
More Likely In the NFL
The intensity of CTE is more significant when a person competes in football for an extended period of time.High school players typically have minor cases of CTE while those who play professionally suffer from worse signs.
The report found that 87 percent of the 202 brains that had been utilized in the study were found to have CTE.The fact that almost all of the brains of NFL players had some signs of CTE particularly shows that those who play for a much longer amount of time are more likely to suffer from serious problems.
91 percent of the college football players and 88 percent of the Canadian Football League players who were analyzed were found to have CTE.This is compared to 21 percent of people who had competed in high school but did not go any further than that.
The results confirm many reports that those who play football for a longer period of time are more likely to suffer from serious health-related issues over time.This especially comes amid issues where players might become emotionally weak or unable to function normally.
Extensive Trauma a Concern
It was particularly noticed in the study that any form of excess trauma to the head can cause CTE.This means that a person does not have to experience concussions in order to suffer from significant issues.Many repeated blows to the head, particularly an accumulation of many small blows over a period of time, may also be a concern for a number of players.
Development of Damage
The damages that are caused by CTE include many issues relating to how important parts of the brain operate.This comes as a mutated protein called tau is more likely to develop in a person's brain as excess trauma occurs.Many areas of the brain that relate to memory functions and emotional control, particularly the mammillary bodies and amygdala, are among the spaces in the brain that are often more likely to experience serious problems.
The findings in the CTE analysis uncovered a number of critical concerns:
A majority of former NFL players who have CTE were lineman. 44 of them in particular developed CTE.
Other players who are in constantly tight situations are often at a risk of being tackled were high on the list. 20 running backs and 17 defensive backs were included.
The risk of CTE is prominent among people regardless of the positions they play in.One place-kicker and one punter were found among the people who have CTE.
The particular effects of CTE that people experienced as a result of playing football included the following based on 84 people who had more severe cases of CTE:
89 percent of those with CTE experienced significant behavioral and mood issues.
95 percent had cognitive issues that relating to improper brain functioning or the inability to make basic decisions.
85 percent of people had signs of dementia.
The number of people who had such severe cases of CTE particularly included many of the NFL players, thus adding more confirmation over how those in the NFL are more likely to suffer from significant harm while playing for longer periods of time.
The rulings come amid concerns among CTE and brain trauma in professional football.This especially comes amid worries among fans over how players are harming their brain functions while playing as well as cases where many players are retiring earlier or getting out of the sport as a means of preserving their brain functions.