Concussions occur when a collision causes the brain to hit the inside of the skull.
NFL Concussion Study
a recent article was written by Daniella Emanuel, CNN about another NFL Concussion study in 2017>
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, known as CTE, was found in 99% of deceased NFL players' brains that were donated to scientific research, according to a study published Tuesday in the medical journal JAMA
It can only be formally diagnosed with an autopsy, and most cases, although not all, have been seen in either veterans or people who played contact sports, particularly American football.
"There's no question that there's a problem in football. That people who play football are at risk for this disease," said Dr. Ann McKee, director of Boston University's CTE Center and coauthor of the new study. "And we urgently need to find answers for not just football players, but veterans and other individuals exposed to head trauma."
Out of 202 deceased former football players total -- a combination of high school, college and professional players -- CTE was neuropathologically diagnosed in 177, the study said. The disease was identified in 110 out of 111 former NFL players. It was also found in three of the 14 high school players and 48 of the 53 college players. The study included brains of individuals who have been publicly confirmed to have had the disease, including Ken Stabler, Kevin Turner, Bubba Smith and Dave Duerson
"The medical and scientific communities will benefit from this publication and the NFL will continue to work with a wide range of experts to improve the health of current and former NFL athletes," the NFL told CNN in a statement, noting that "there are still many unanswered questions relating to the cause, incidence and prevalence of long-term effects of head trauma such as CTE."
"It certainly can be prevented and that's why we really need to understand how much exposure to head trauma and what type of head trauma the body can sustain before it gets into this irreversible cascade of events," she said.
"For the first time, we've established this really rich resource, not only of data, both the clinical symptoms and the pathological features, but also a tissue resource to enable future research in CTE," McKee said. "And we know that this study doesn't answer many of the very important questions in CTE, but the resource will help us understand the molecular underpinnings, will help us develop biomarkers and therapies by understanding the pathological features of the disease."
What’s in the News?
There is a long list of NFL Players with CTE and many who were diagnosed after their death. Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez is one example. Hernandez was the worst case ever reported on such a young man. He committed suicide while serving time in prison for murder. Hernandez was only 27 years old at the time. Doctors categorize CTE in four stages, with Stage 4 CTE as the worst. Hernandez was diagnosed with Stage 3 CTE, which causes memory loss, damaged thinking, as well as changes in behavior and impaired judgment.
The New NFL Rules
The league has changed several rules to make play safer for NFL. They have moved kickoffs from the 30 yard line to the 35 yard line and touchbacks from the 20 yard line to the 25 yard line. The teams are running at full speed towards each other on this type of play, so this rule shortens the distance between the kicking team and the receiving team.