NFL retirees more likely to have depression and cognitive problems, brain study shows [View all]
Source: CBS News
A new study of NFL players adds to the evidence that repeated head blows absorbed during a football career could lead to changes in the brain that affect the athletes' behavior.
The study, published Jan. 7 in JAMA Neurology (formerly known as the Archives of Neurology), found retired NFL players were more likely to report cognitive impairment and depression and show physical brain changes on an MRI scan compared to healthy individuals.
"NFL players may be more likely to develop cognitive impairments (problems with memory, naming and word finding) or depression as they age compared with the general population," wrote the authors, led by Dr. John Hart Jr., medical science director at the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas.
"Of particular concern is the possibility that...repeated mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBIs) are not limited to professional football players but may also occur in amateur collegiate athletes and even adolescent and younger players," they wrote.