Former football players are at higher risk of dying from a neurodegenerative form of dementia called Alzheimer's disease, or from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease) than their peers, the results of a new study demonstrate.
In a paper published in the latest online issue of the journal Neurology, experts at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health detail a study conducted on 3,439 National Football League players (average age of 57), who played football between 1959 and 1988.
The team learned that players in speed positions were almost 300 percent more likely to die from Alzheimer's, ALS, or a condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), PsychCentral
“A brain autopsy is necessary to diagnose CTE and distinguish it from Alzheimer’s or ALS. While CTE is a separate diagnosis, the symptoms are often similar to those found in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ALS, and can occur as the result of multiple concussions,” the team explains.