NFL

By Matt Wilhalme
September 18, 2015

The brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, believed to be caused by repeated head trauma, has been found in 87 of 91 deceased former NFL players tested, according to researchers.

“People think that we’re blowing this out of proportion, that this is a very rare disease and that we’re sensationalizing it,” Dr. Ann McKee, chief of neurophysiology at the VA Boston Healthcare System and director of the lab where the tests were conducted, told PBS’ “Frontline.” “My response is that where I sit, this is a very real disease. We have had no problem identifying it in hundreds of players.”

In research conducted by the Department of Veteran Affairs and Boston University, 40% of those testing positive for CTE were offensive or defensive linemen, according to the report.

Though those linemen aren’t typically subjected to the big concussion-causing hits sustained by other players on the field, it’s the consistent minor collisions that could pose a greater risk to players, according to the research.

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