Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chronic brain damage not as prevalent in NFL players, say researchers

Date:
June 25, 2014
Source:
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
Summary:
A different take on previous information regarding the prevalence of chronic brain damage in retired NFL players is being proposed by researchers. Researchers performed in-depth neurological examinations of 45 retired NFL players, ranging in age from 30-to 60-years old. "Our results indicated that there were brain lesions and cognitive impairments in some of the players; however the majority of the individuals in our study had no clinical signs of chronic brain damage to the degree that has been noted in previous studies," said the lead author.

A study published online in Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach provides a different take on previous information regarding the prevalence of chronic brain damage in retired NFL players.

Researchers performed in-depth neurological examinations of 45 retired NFL players, ranging in age from 30-to 60-years old. The analysis included state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) along with comprehensive neuropsychological and neurological examinations, interviews, blood tests and APOE (apolipoprotein E) genotyping.

"Our results indicated that there were brain lesions and cognitive impairments in some of the players; however the majority of the individuals in our study had no clinical signs of chronic brain damage to the degree that has been noted in previous studies," said lead author and neurologist, Ira R. Casson, MD of the Long Island Jewish Medical Center, in New Hyde Park, New York and the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, Hempstead, New York.

The players in the study had an average of 6.8 years of playing time in the NFL and reported approximately 6.9 concussions during their time in the league. The majority had normal clinical mental status. Neuropsychological testing revealed isolated impairments in 11 patients but none suffered dementia. Six players showed symptoms of moderate to severe depression. No players in the study had dysarthria, Parkinson's Disease or cerebellar dysfunction. An abnormal gene which may predict future cognitive issues such as dementia was present in 38 percent of the players, which is larger than that in the general male population.

Player positions in the study included: 14 linebackers, 9 offensive lineman, 8 defensive lineman, 8 defensive backs, 2 wide receivers, 2 running backs, 1 tight end and 1 who played on both the offensive and defensive line. No NFL quarterbacks were part of the sample. Up until this study took place there had been three mail/telephone surveys of retired players, a number of neuropathological case reports and one clinical evaluation of older retired NFL players in the medical literature.

"The prevailing view that a career in football frequently results in brain damage still needs to be studied further. With additional funding and time, more detailed analysis can take place to determine the long-term effects of playing football and what can be done to help prevent injuries, especially concussion," said Casson.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. I. R. Casson, D. C. Viano, E. M. Haacke, Z. Kou, D. G. LeStrange. Is There Chronic Brain Damage in Retired NFL Players? Neuroradiology, Neuropsychology, and Neurology Examinations of 45 Retired Players. Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach, 2014; DOI: 10.1177/1941738114540270

Cite This Page:

American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. "Chronic brain damage not as prevalent in NFL players, say researchers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140625151546.htm>.
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. (2014, June 25). Chronic brain damage not as prevalent in NFL players, say researchers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140625151546.htm
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. "Chronic brain damage not as prevalent in NFL players, say researchers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140625151546.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Research from Washington University suggest people with conscientious spouses have greater career success. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Researchers say certain markers in the blood can predict risk of psychosis later in the life. The test can aid in early treatment for the condition. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

AP (Sep. 25, 2014) Teri Tacheny, a harpist, has a loyal following of fans who appreciate her soothing music. Every month, gorillas, orangutans and monkeys amble down to hear her play at the Como Park Zoo in Minnesota. (Sept. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins