By Ken Reed

A new study in the journal Neurology concluded that former NFL players died from degenerative brain disease at a rate three times higher than the general U.S. population. The new study is just the latest of multiple studies in recent years linking football with brain disease.

The study’s authors said “these results are consistent with recent studies that suggest an increased risk of neurodegenerative disease among football players.”

Dr. Robert Cantu, one of the country’s preeminent brain disease researchers, said the results of the new study are “not surprising at all.” Cantu wasn’t involved in this particular study.

The death rate for NFL players from the specific neurodegenerative diseases Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s were 4 times higher than the general population.

Cantu said some of the deaths in the new study could have been misdiagnosed chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which is directly traced to repeated blows to the head.

Some analysts in the field believe that Lou Gehrig himself might have actually died from CTE, not amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Gehrig suffered numerous concussions in baseball and while playing football in college.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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