JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Scientists have recently found evidence that professional football players are susceptible to a progressive degenerative disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which is caused by repetitive brain trauma. Now, researchers on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus have discovered a significant and surprising amount of CTE in males who had participated in amateur contact sports in their youth.
About one-third of these men whose brains had been donated to the Mayo Clinic Brain Bank had evidence of CTE pathology. CTE only can be diagnosed posthumously.
The Mayo study, published in the December issue of Acta Neuropathologica, links amateur contact sports — football, boxing, wrestling, rugby, basketball, baseball and others played while in school — with the development of CTE, which when severe can affect mood, behavior and cognition.
MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Punsky, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, firstname.lastname@example.org
Journalists: Sound bites with study author Kevin Bieniek are available in the downloads.