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Sunday, September 14, 2014

NFL estimates nearly three in 10 former players will have cognitive problems

Today's post is shared from
When it comes to concussions, the NFL has come a long way from the days of lies and half-truths regarding concussions.  (Maybe the NFL eventually will make that same progress when it comes to botched investigations of player misconduct.)
After years of downplaying and denying the long-term risks of concussion, the NFL is fully awake.  The process began five years ago next month, but it’s taken some time for the league to embrace completely the idea that it’s not good for the brain when the skull repeatedly hits other things hard.  Via the Associated Press, the league has acknowledged in connection with the settlement of the concussion litigation that nearly three in 10 former players eventually will suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or moderate dementia.
The disclosures made by the NFL came as part of the formal settlement approval process.  The NFL acknowledged that the rates of Alzheimer’s disease and moderate cognitive impairment are “materially higher than those expected in the general population” and would arise at “notably younger ages.”
The league also pointed out that the estimates are “reasonable and conservative,” with a deliberate effort to “overstat[e]the number of players who will develop [illnesses],” so that the fund available for retired players with qualifying illnesses will have enough money to cover them all.  Even so, the numbers are attracting plenty...
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