The biggest enemy of the NFL is not on the field.
The National Football League (NFL) is facing its biggest game-changer yet: the chronic traumatic encephalopathy disease, commonly known as CTE.
It was revealed through a study of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that the neurodegenerative brain disease was found in 10 out of 11 NFL-deceased player brains donated for research. The alarming fact was found to be caused by the constant and continuous blows to the head.
As medics explained, the disease is causes by the buildup of abnormal tau protein in the brain due to unusual shaking of the brain inside the skull due to aggressive hits, to which it can lead to disable neuropathways in the patient and cause a variety of clinical symptoms like memory loss, depression, confusion, impaired judgment, aggression, impulse control issues and anxiety,
During the JAMA recopìlation that examined a total of 202 deceased football players — including high school, college and professional players — CTE was neuropathologically diagnosed in 177 players, all the while 110 out of 111 former NFL players presented the disease. CTE was also found in three of the 14 high school players examined, and 48 cases of CTE were found in the total of 53 college players analyzed.
Changing the NFL game
This is something the NFL cannot take lightly, as the 14-billion-dollar industry is looking at a serious and risky problem that could notably devaluate the company´s revenue and manpower, as it´s athletes have turned the league into one of the top-sports-industries across the world.
It has been stated that harder helmets are the solution to handle the players health with care, however, having a more resistant helmet does not protect your brain from sub-concussive hits, and in the long-run, CTE has been found despite the technologic advances regarding sports protection inside the NFL.
As CTE cannot be diagnosed in living people and their is no treatment in life for the disease, an emergency and immediate answer is expected to be heard from one of the top company´s in the US., as we must not forget that after all, the National Football League is a corporate giant of itself, and like any other, it must respond to the setbacks it constantly sees, in this case being a very haunting and critical disease thats costing money and life-quality of the main ingredient of this fantastic sports salad: the players and their families.
If you´re interested in learning more about the dangers of CTE, Will Smith did a great role in Concussion, where he played Dr. Omalu in his quest of letting the world know about CTE.