Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, known as CTE, was found in the brains of 110 out of 111 deceased former NFL players that were donated to scientific research, according to a study published in the medical journal JAMA.
The neurodegenerative brain disease can be found in individuals who have been exposed to repeated head trauma. 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.
The JAMA study is the largest of its kind and all of those studied were required to have football as their primary exposure to head trauma.
“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.”