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New Study Finds Football Is More Traumatizing to Players' Brains than Previously Believed

A new study shows 110 out of 111 donated brains from former NFL players suffered from CTE, a form of brain degeneration that causes memory loss, anxiety, depression, lack of emotional control, and dementia. Overall, 202 brains of former football players were tested, from high school age up, which indicated that the longer the game was played, the more likely a player would suffer from CTE—caused by repeated sub-concussive blows.

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: Duron Harmon #30 of the New England Patriots tackles Devonta Freeman #24 of the Atlanta Falcons in the first half of Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

[DIGEST: New York Times (1, 2, 3, 4), New England Cable News, JAMA Network, Boston Globe]

In a new study testing the brains from 202 deceased football players—ranging from high school to the NFL—87 percent tested positive for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a degenerative disease linked to repeated blows to the head that causes symptoms such as confusion, memory loss, depression and dementia. Symptoms often arise years after causation. Specifically, 111 of those brains studied belonged to NFL players, of which 110 had CTE.

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