In a study of more than 3,400 retired National Football League (NFL) players, the researchers found that death rates from the two brain diseases were four times higher than those in the general U.S. population. The researchers, from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), cannot be sure of the reasons.
But they suspect they could be looking at the long-term consequences of repeat concussions during players’ careers. “This study cannot establish cause-and-effect,” said lead researcher Everett J. Lehman.
“We did not have data on concussions.” But, Lehman said, other studies have found links between repeat concussion and an increased risk of neurologic disorders, including memory impairment.
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