“These results are consistent with recent studies that suggest an increased risk of neurodegenerative disease among football players,” said study author Everett J. Lehman, MS, with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in Cincinnati. “Although our study looked at causes of death from Alzheimer’s disease and ALS as shown on death certificates, research now suggests that chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) may have been the true primary or secondary factor in some of these deaths. A brain autopsy is necessary to diagnose CTE and distinguish it from Alzheimer's or ALS. While CTE is a separate diagnosis, the symptoms are often similar to those found in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ALS, and can occur as the result of multiple concussions.”
So what does this mean for you and me? Well, my next door neighbor is a high school freshman who is playing tight end for the school’s football team. I’m going to make sure to reinforce proper tackling technique and also the signs of a concussion. I want him to know that while the sport is fun, it also can lead to dire health issues if he isn’t careful. In other words, I want him to do well on the gridiron, but also be able to live a long, happy and healthy life.
Primary Sources for This Sharepost:
American Academy of Neurology. (2012). NFL players may be at higher risk of death from Alzheimer’s and ALS.
ESPN. (2012). Jim McMahon espn 2012. Video.
Mitchell, F. (2012). Ex-Bears QB McMahon on SI cover about brain trauma. Chicago Tribune.