News on Wellness

Cognitive Health Decline Found in 30% of Former NFL Players

Cognitive NFLNot only is football among the most popular sports to play, it is considered one of the most dangerous. To confirm suspicions, numerous studies have been conducted, all sharing the same findings – even when players wear helmets, impact regardless of intensity, there are negative and long-term effects on the cognitive health of the brain.

According to the National Football Association (NFL), approximately three of every ten players will develop a neurodegenerative disease, be at greater risk for developing mental health illnesses much earlier than non-players, and experience problems up to 66% more often.

The Senior United States District Judge, Anita B. Brody, had data compiled in relation to a Philadelphia lawsuit in which claims were made that the NFL failed to share knowledge regarding a link between brain injuries and concussions. The goal of the reports was to allow Judge Brody the opportunity to decide if an agreed proposed settlement between the two parties was or was not appropriate.

As stated in the reports, lawyers of some athletes and the NFL agreed that about 28% of all football players will end up with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or some other form of Dementia. In other words, approximately 6,000 of more than 19,000 former NFL players will at some point in life develop a mental illness.

In addition, the reports stated that former NFL players at risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia will range between 50 and 59 years of age but also, risk increase is 14 to 24 times greater compared to non-players in the same age group. Even more frightening, ex-players between 60 and 64 years old have a much higher risk, approximately 35 times greater than non-players.

As reported by ABC News, the results of these studies confirm that assumptions and observations of a connection between brain injury and mental illness are reasonable since comparisons were made with former players and the general public.

In the documents written and presented to the NFL, The Segal Group added that as anticipated, the studies show that players will first be diagnosed much younger than non-players, something consistent with allegations made by the plaintiff.

Because of the studies’ findings, both parties involved in the lawsuit came to an agreement that includes a $675 million in awards for $75 million for baseline assessments, and another $10 million for ongoing research. In addition, $5 million will go toward public notice. This settlement focuses only on former NFL players opposed to those currently playing in the league.

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