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NFL Players Linked to Greater Risk of Dying from Alzheimer’s

According to a new study published in the journal Neurology, National Football League players have a three times greater risk of suffering a fatal brain disease, such as Alzheimer’s, than members of the general population. The report was published on the same day that the NFL notified the public that it was placing $30 million toward research into brain injuries and their connection to different brain conditions. These latest findings should add additional support to the traumatic brain injury complaints filed by over 3,000 ex-pro football players against the NFL.

Altman & Altman, LLP represents children and adults with Boston traumatic brain injuries. Our Massachusetts personal injury law firm would be happy to provide you with a free, no obligation, initial consultation.

The plaintiffs claim the NFL hid research that found there was a link between repeat concussions and permanent brain injuries that can cause nervous system disorders, dementia, severe depression, and even suicide. They believe the football league did not do enough to stop these injuries or help manage or treat them by limiting play time. Last week, attorneys for the NFL tried to shut down the complaints, contending they are a “labor dispute.”

Also a target of many of these professional football players’ lawsuits is Riddell, the manufacturer of the NFL’s “official” helmets. They are accusing Riddell of failing to protect NFL players from long-term concussion risks, improperly marketing their helmets as being able to reduce this injury risk, and not warning them about the long-term health issues that can result. A concussion, although it sounds less serious, is a type of brain injury. Repeated concussions can take their toll, causing serious, permanent, and even fatal traumatic brain injuries.

Per the new study, which involved federal government researchers looking at medical records of over 3,400 ex-NFL players and seeing how they compared with the records of members of the general population in their age demographic, the football players, who had an average age of 57, exhibited a three times greater risk of dying from Lou Gehrig’s disease, Alzheimer’s, or another brain disease than their counterparts. Ex-NFL players that played speed positions, were at greater risk of dying from such brain conditions than those that had played in non-speed positions.

Neurology

Football players more likely to develop neurodegenerative disease, study finds, CNN, September 6, 2012

NFL pledges $30 million for medical research, BloombergBusinessweek/AP News, September 6, 2012

Why Football Helmet Manufacturer Riddell Should Be Very Concerned About Concussion Litigation, Forbes, June 21, 2012


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