Brain and nervous system disorders among NFL players
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Brain and nervous system disorders among NFL players

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    This summary reports findings from a study of brain and nervous system disorders among National Football League (NFL) players. Specifically, we looked at Alzheimer’s disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and Parkinson’s disease. These disorders affect nerve function, resulting in loss of movement or memory.

    The information in this summary is related to your health. You are being sent this because you played for the NFL for at least five seasons during 1959 to 1988.

    Over 15 years ago, we did a study that found “nervous system” deaths were increased among NFL players. Since then other studies have noted similar concerns.

    More recently, studies have identified a condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE has symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s, ALS, and Parkinson’s. It occurs in people who’ve had multiple concussions.

    Concerns for CTE and other diseases that damage nerve cells are increasing among football players. Because of this, we looked more closely at these kinds of disorders to see if they were higher among NFL players.


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