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Study Finds CTE in 96% of NFL Players Examined

September 18, 2015

Today researchers with the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University announced they have identified the degenerative disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in the brains of 96 percent of NFL players that they’ve examined.

“We are not surprised by the findings,” said Susan Connors, president and chief executive officer of the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA). “Brain injury is not an event or an outcome. The injury can cause or accelerate many diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinsonism, as well as neuroendocrine and psychiatric disorders plus muscular, skeletal, and sexual dysfunction. It is why individuals who sustain brain injuries should have access to research, treatment, education, and support on par with patients who experience other types of diseases.”

BIAA is collaborating with the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at the National Institutes of Health to encourage individuals who have sustained brain injuries to donate their brains to science in order to better understand the prevalence of these conditions. Scientists need brain tissue from people of all ages, injury types, and severity levels to unlock the secret connections between brain injury and CTE, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), epilepsy and other conditions.

Please visit the NIH Neurobiobank Donation site ( to learn which hospitals and universities participate in the program, the rules researchers must follow when accessing brain tissue, and how everyday Americans, not just professional athletes, can contribute to brain science.