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    • buccaneer4ever

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      A total of 87 out of 91 former NFL players have tested positive for the brain disease at the center of the debate over concussions in football, according to new figures from the nation’s largest brain bank focused on the study of traumatic head injury.Researchers with the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University have now identified the degenerative disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in 96 percent of NFL players that they’ve examined and in 79 percent of all football players. The disease is widely believed to stem from repetitive trauma to the head, and can lead to conditions such as memory loss, depression and dementia.In total, the lab has found CTE in the brain tissue in 131 out of 165 individuals who, before their deaths, played football either professionally, semi-professionally, in college or in high school.Forty percent of those who tested positive were the offensive and defensive linemen who come into contact with one another on every play of a game, according to numbers shared by the brain bank with FRONTLINE. That finding supports past research suggesting that it’s the repeat, more minor head trauma that occurs regularly in football that may pose the greatest risk to players, as opposed to just the sometimes violent collisions that cause concussions.But the figures come with several important caveats, as testing for the disease can be an imperfect process. Brain scans have been used to identify signs of CTE in living players, but the disease can only be definitively identified posthumously. As such, many of the players who have donated their brains for testing suspected that they had the disease while still alive, leaving researchers with a skewed population to work with.Even with those caveats, the latest numbers are “remarkably consistent” with past research from the center suggesting a link between football and long-term brain disease, said Dr. Ann McKee, the facility’s director and chief of neuropathology at the VA Boston Healthcare System.“People think that we’re blowing this out of proportion, that this is a very rare disease and that we’re sensationalizing it,” said McKee, who runs the lab as part of a collaboration between the VA and BU. “My response is that where I sit, this is a very real disease. We have had no problem identifying it in hundreds of players.”In a statement, a spokesman for the NFL said, “We are dedicated to making football safer and continue to take steps to protect players, including rule changes, advanced sideline technology, and expanded medical resources. We continue to make significant investments in independent research through our gifts to Boston University, the [National Institutes of Health] and other efforts to accelerate the science and understanding of these issues.The latest update from the brain bank, which in 2010 received a $1 million research grant from the NFL, comes at a time when the league is able to boast measurable progress in reducing head injuries. In its 2015 Health & Safety Report, the NFL said that concussions in regular season games fell 35 percent over the past two seasons, from 173 in 2012 to 112 last season. A separate analysis by FRONTLINE that factors in concussions reported by teams during the preseason and the playoffs shows a smaller decrease of 28 percent.Off the field, the league has revised safety rules to minimize head-to-head hits, and invested millions into research. In April, it also won final approval for a potential $1 billion settlement with roughly 5,000 former players who have sued it over past head injuries.Still, at the start of a new season of play, the NFL once again finds itself grappling to turn the page on the central argument in the class-action lawsuit: that for years it sought to conceal a link between football and long-term brain disease.The latest challenge to that effort came two weeks ago with the trailer for a forthcoming Hollywood film about the neuropathologist who first discovered CTE. When the trailer was released, it quickly went viral, leaving the NFL bracing for a new round of scrutiny over past efforts to deny any such connection.The film, Concussion, starring Will Smith, traces the story of Bennet Omalu, who in 2005 shocked the football establishment with an article in the journal Neurosurgery detailing his discovery of CTE in the brain of former Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster. At the VA lab and elsewhere, CTE has since been found in players such as Hall of Famer Junior Seau, former NFL Man of the Year Dave Duerson, and Colts tight end John Mackey, a past head of the player’s union.While the story is not a new one, for the NFL, it represents a high-profile and potentially embarrassing cinematic interpretation of a period in which the league sought to refute research suggesting football may contribute to brain disease.From 2003 to 2009, for example, the NFL’s now disbanded Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee concluded in a series of scientific papers that “no NFL player” had experienced chronic brain damage from repeat concussions, and that “Professional football players do not sustain frequent repetitive blows to the brain on a regular basis.”In the case of Omalu, league doctors publicly assailed his research, and in a rare move, demanded a retraction of his study. When Omalu spoke to FRONTLINE about the incident for the 2013 documentary, League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis, he said, “You can’t go against the NFL. They’ll squash you.”In a conversation with FRONTLINE, McKee said that her biggest challenge remains “convincing people this is an actual disease.” Whatever pockets of resistance still exist, she said, have primarily come from those with a “vested interest” in football.People want to make this just Alzheimer’s disease or aging and not really a disease,” according to McKee. “I think there’s fewer of those people, but that’s still one of our major hurdles.

      Link: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sports/concussion-watch/new-87-deceased-nfl-players-test-positive-for-brain-disease/

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 8044

      i cant get behind this.  only able to diagnose it posthumously?  im much more interested in the amount of high school football players with CTE.i

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 4755

      It’s the helmets that cause this.They should be able, in this day and age to design a helmet that can reduce the effects of helmet to helmet impact. The helmet needs a soft outer cover to minimise the effects of the head to head shots. The fact that nobody is working on this is an indictment on the entire sport.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 1176

      It's the helmets that cause this.They should be able, in this day and age to design a helmet that can reduce the effects of helmet to helmet impact. The helmet needs a soft outer cover to minimise the effects of the head to head shots. The fact that nobody is working on this is an indictment on the entire sport.

      No helmet doesn't appear to be the answer. Here a a story about rugby and their studies.http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/rugby-union/33686163Rugby study points to link between concussion and brain functionA major study of rugby union players points to a potential link between frequent concussion and brain function, the project's lead researcher said.The research, funded by World Rugby over 29 months, took in 485 men and compared amateur and professional players with matched control groups.World Rugby said it was "difficult" to draw robust conclusions, adding "further research was required".But Professor Patria Hume said it was "irresponsible" to ignore the link.She said rugby players who had suffered four or more concussions performed worse in tests measuring mental and physical coordination, motor speed and multi-tasking.The Auckland University of Technology study, which is in the process of being peer reviewed for publication, was commissioned by World Rugby in 2012 amid growing fears about the potential for long-term brain injuries in high-impact sports.The dangers of playing rugbyFormer England centre Shontayne Hape, who retired aged 33: "The specialist explained that my brain was so traumatised, had swollen so big, that even just getting a tap to the body would knock me out. I had to retire immediately."Hume, who said that "94% of elite level rugby players experienced one or more concussions", added that the study showed a statistically significant link between repeated concussion and brain damage.She said: "We've got to go through that scientific process, but what I'm saying is that, as a scientist, it's irresponsible for people to say there are no long-term brain health issues."Because all indications so far from the analysis we have done indicates that there possibly are for the rugby players and for people who have been concussed more than four times."The study involved 131 ex-players, 281 retired amateur players and 73 retired non-contact sportspeople.World Rugby said in a statement: "The study showed that rugby players performed above average in some tests compared to non-contact sports players and less well in others."It is therefore difficult to draw robust conclusions about the links between rugby and long-term cognitive health issues and highlights the need for further in-depth research."Concerns about concussions in rugby follow a £490m settlement in 2013 between American football's NFL and former players, who said the league hid the dangers of long-term brain damage.And the issue was highlighted when Wales and Northampton winger George North and England's Harlequins full-back Mike Brown were both stood down from the game for an extended period after suffering concussion earlier this year.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 2673

      For anyone who has been paying attention, this should come at no surprise. As far as the current generation of players (who will suffer from it in a few decades), they know what they’ve signed up for, so it’ll be hard to feel sorry for them down the road.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 8983

      I’m betting if you carved up lovies brain, you would find dusty defensive playbook pages, essence of Favre, and Alzheimers.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 4755

      It's the helmets that cause this.They should be able, in this day and age to design a helmet that can reduce the effects of helmet to helmet impact. The helmet needs a soft outer cover to minimise the effects of the head to head shots. The fact that nobody is working on this is an indictment on the entire sport.

      No helmet doesn't appear to be the answer. Here a a story about rugby and their studies.http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/rugby-union/33686163Rugby study points to link between concussion and brain functionA major study of rugby union players points to a potential link between frequent concussion and brain function, the project's lead researcher said.The research, funded by World Rugby over 29 months, took in 485 men and compared amateur and professional players with matched control groups.World Rugby said it was "difficult" to draw robust conclusions, adding "further research was required".But Professor Patria Hume said it was "irresponsible" to ignore the link.She said rugby players who had suffered four or more concussions performed worse in tests measuring mental and physical coordination, motor speed and multi-tasking.The Auckland University of Technology study, which is in the process of being peer reviewed for publication, was commissioned by World Rugby in 2012 amid growing fears about the potential for long-term brain injuries in high-impact sports.The dangers of playing rugbyFormer England centre Shontayne Hape, who retired aged 33: "The specialist explained that my brain was so traumatised, had swollen so big, that even just getting a tap to the body would knock me out. I had to retire immediately."Hume, who said that "94% of elite level rugby players experienced one or more concussions", added that the study showed a statistically significant link between repeated concussion and brain damage.She said: "We've got to go through that scientific process, but what I'm saying is that, as a scientist, it's irresponsible for people to say there are no long-term brain health issues."Because all indications so far from the analysis we have done indicates that there possibly are for the rugby players and for people who have been concussed more than four times."The study involved 131 ex-players, 281 retired amateur players and 73 retired non-contact sportspeople.World Rugby said in a statement: "The study showed that rugby players performed above average in some tests compared to non-contact sports players and less well in others."It is therefore difficult to draw robust conclusions about the links between rugby and long-term cognitive health issues and highlights the need for further in-depth research."Concerns about concussions in rugby follow a £490m settlement in 2013 between American football's NFL and former players, who said the league hid the dangers of long-term brain damage.And the issue was highlighted when Wales and Northampton winger George North and England's Harlequins full-back Mike Brown were both stood down from the game for an extended period after suffering concussion earlier this year.

      Interesting. I have had plenty of concussions and my thoery is that the hard plastic helmets should be covered in a softer plastic to minimise the sound and vibration that the helmets produce. Have you ever been in a stadium and heard a helmet to helmet hit? The impact jars the brain and then that loud pop literally makes your ears ring. I truly believe that IF they wanted to design a better helmet that would prevent or minimise concussions it is possible. As a multi-billion dollar industry they should be researching this and actioning it asap.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 372

      It's the helmets that cause this.They should be able, in this day and age to design a helmet that can reduce the effects of helmet to helmet impact. The helmet needs a soft outer cover to minimise the effects of the head to head shots. The fact that nobody is working on this is an indictment on the entire sport.

      No helmet doesn't appear to be the answer. Here a a story about rugby and their studies.http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/rugby-union/33686163Rugby study points to link between concussion and brain functionA major study of rugby union players points to a potential link between frequent concussion and brain function, the project's lead researcher said.The research, funded by World Rugby over 29 months, took in 485 men and compared amateur and professional players with matched control groups.World Rugby said it was "difficult" to draw robust conclusions, adding "further research was required".But Professor Patria Hume said it was "irresponsible" to ignore the link.She said rugby players who had suffered four or more concussions performed worse in tests measuring mental and physical coordination, motor speed and multi-tasking.The Auckland University of Technology study, which is in the process of being peer reviewed for publication, was commissioned by World Rugby in 2012 amid growing fears about the potential for long-term brain injuries in high-impact sports.The dangers of playing rugbyFormer England centre Shontayne Hape, who retired aged 33: "The specialist explained that my brain was so traumatised, had swollen so big, that even just getting a tap to the body would knock me out. I had to retire immediately."Hume, who said that "94% of elite level rugby players experienced one or more concussions", added that the study showed a statistically significant link between repeated concussion and brain damage.She said: "We've got to go through that scientific process, but what I'm saying is that, as a scientist, it's irresponsible for people to say there are no long-term brain health issues."Because all indications so far from the analysis we have done indicates that there possibly are for the rugby players and for people who have been concussed more than four times."The study involved 131 ex-players, 281 retired amateur players and 73 retired non-contact sportspeople.World Rugby said in a statement: "The study showed that rugby players performed above average in some tests compared to non-contact sports players and less well in others."It is therefore difficult to draw robust conclusions about the links between rugby and long-term cognitive health issues and highlights the need for further in-depth research."Concerns about concussions in rugby follow a £490m settlement in 2013 between American football's NFL and former players, who said the league hid the dangers of long-term brain damage.And the issue was highlighted when Wales and Northampton winger George North and England's Harlequins full-back Mike Brown were both stood down from the game for an extended period after suffering concussion earlier this year.

      As a current rugby player who grew up playing football, I can tell you without a doubt that the answer is get rid of the helmet and shoulder pads. And to take it a step further, they should consider implementing rugby style rules where all tackles must be done with an attempt to wrap. Guaranteed nobody will be leading with their heads with just a scrum cap on their heads. Yes obviously concussions can and will happen, but on a much much smaller scale. And way less likely to get repeated concussions

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 8044

      agree on getting rid of helmets – but that will never happen.  im no scientist, but i dont think there is a “safe” helmet out there.  the concussions probably come from the brain slamming into the skull, which a helmet aint gonna stop imo.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 4407

      There are many occupations that put a person at health risk.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there never were any risks with occupations that were hazardous! LOL ::)This is just another agenda for those that hate the sport attempting eliminate it.Not one person has to play the sport. There is no mandate!  Heck, there are people that jump off mountains with no parachute and do all sorts of crazy things and don't even get paid!yes the government needs to ban activity that could be hazardous to one's health.  We must be protected from ourselves! ::)

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 794

      The report is based on research into those suspected of having CTE, it wasn’t a general study of all players… so it’s like saying we’re going to look for cancer in those suspected of dying from cancer. Well guess what, you’re going to find cancer.With that said it's sort of been known for quite a while that getting hit in the head might be bad for your health... seriously... read some history, they've been talking about this for centuries. There is no new information when it comes to this. For these dummies pretending like they didn't know this was bad for them... yeah sure, I'm sure it's not just a payday. Speaking of which this concussion nonsense is the same people that brought up the smoking causes cancer idiocy in which people pretended they didn't know in order to get "FREE" money.That's all any of this comes down to.Also for people killing themselves and such... yeah if I'm a world class athletic banging chicks all the time and now I'm in my 40s with no job, no money (see child support from banging all those chicks), no skills, my physical abilities have faded, I'm not getting tail anymore or traveling and people aren't sucking up to me because I'm famous... yeah I might be a bit depressed and blow my brains out as well. Or I might not. But in either case it didn't have anything to do with the NFL other than they made me a millionaire.

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