A recent study has revealed that the practice of football is many times linked to brains diseases and new measures need to be adopted in order to prevent such affections in the future. The study was performed after many NFL veterans were diagnosed with brain diseases, the Associated Press reports.
NFL players tend to develop many more brain-related diseases as opposed to people who don’t practice this sport. The discovery was made by a group of medical researchers after analyzing the medical reports of 3400 former NFL players.
The majority of the deceased players suffered from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease combined. The death rate of the sportsmen who had all these three affections was three times bigger than the percentage that is normally predicted for the entire population. Further researches need to be performed in the future to determine the main factors leading to degenerative brain diseases, but scientists believe the repeated blows to the head are the main cause of these health issues.
The study included football players who have taken part in at least five playing seasons in the league between 1959 and 1988. The 334 football players who died before 2007 were included in the main study. Their death rates have been compared to the ones of another group of American men. They have thus, discovered 10 cases where the NFL veteran suffered from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or Lou Gehrig’s disease. According to doctors, this rate is three times bigger than the numbers that have been registered so far within groups of regular American men.
There have been several critics that were brought against the study. Scientists have stated that there is no actual evidence proving that the increase rate of degenerative brain diseases is related somehow to the practice of football. Dr. Robert Cantu from Boston University, has a different opinion, even though he was not involved in the recent research. In his opinion, the studied cases could be misdiagnosed chronic traumatic encephalopathy. For that, scientists would have to perform a special chemical test of the footballer’s brain after death.