List of NFL players with chronic traumatic encephalopathy

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A large number of former American football (NFL) players have been diagnosed with or have suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. A definitive diagnosis so far can be made only post-mortem. However, an increasing number of former players are reporting symptoms of CTE.

Former players with CTE confirmed post-mortem[edit]

A definitive test currently can be made only by examining the brain tissue of a deceased victim.

The following list is incomplete. A brain injury study conducted at the Boston University School of Medicine showed that 33 of 34 players tested post-mortem showed clear signs of CTE,[1] and additional players have so far been confirmed with CTE separately. A new list released in November 2016 mentions CTE in 90 of 94 brains of former and deceased NFL players.[2]

Deceased players suspected of having suffered from CTE[edit]

Included in the list are players diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) who were never tested post-mortem for CTE but whose history appears consistent with CTE. A typical diagnosis of ALS has primarily been based on the symptoms and signs the physician observes in the patient and a series of tests to rule out other diseases[28] and therefore, prior to the discovery of CTE as a phenomenon in ex-American football players, many CTE cases were diagnosed as ALS. The testing of CTE in deceased ex-NFL players began only after the disease was first diagnosed, in 2002, in the brain tissue of Mike Webster.[29] After then, testing became common practice only gradually. A cohort mortality study run by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) examined 3,349 NFL players who played at least five full seasons from 1959 to 1988.[30][31] Findings showed that while NFL players lived longer than the average American male, the risk of death associated with neurodegenerative disorders was about three times higher among the NFL cohort.[30][31] The risk for death from Alzheimer's disease and ALS were about four times higher among the NFL cohort.[30]

Some on this list may have suffered dementia not related to ALS or CTE.

Living former players diagnosed with CTE or ALS or reporting symptoms consistent with CTE or ALS (in mainstream media)[edit]

These players have publicly acknowledged either having been diagnosed with likely CTE or having suffered symptoms, such as dementia or unusual memory loss, consistent with CTE. In some cases, the player has received a diagnosis of ALS but symptoms are consistent with CTE. There are at least two dozen former players who were diagnosed as part of a UCLA study but have not come forward publicly.[1] There are also around 4,500 former players who joined a class action suit against the NFL alleging that it had covered up a growing body of medical evidence about the preponderance of head-trauma related CTE in ex-NFL players.[37]

Some of these ex-players may be suffering from an ailment other than CTE or ALS. For example, ex-players that have presented with symptoms late in life may suffer from other forms of age-related dementia. Some of the former players on this list are came forward only in the context of the class action lawsuit versus the NFL. At present, there is no definitive CTE test is available for living persons.

Former players listed as plaintiffs in lawsuits against the NFL for concussion-related injuries received after playing[edit]

This list is incomplete. The NFL reportedly reached a settlement in 2013 with around 4,500 former players (or their estates). This list currently contains fewer than half that number.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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