// News Entry

Fall/Winter 2009

Dementia Risk Higher for NFL Players

A recently published study commissioned by the National Football League (NFL) indicates a possible relationship between head trauma and later memory and cognition problems. In this study, researchers contacted 1.063 retired NFL players who had played for 3 or more seasons to survey their health and well-being over the phone. It was found that 6.1% of former players aged 50 and over received a dementia-related diagnosis, five times higher than the national average of 1.2%. For retired players aged 30-49, dementia-related diagnoses were 19 times higher than the national average of .1%. According to Daniel P. Perl, M.D., neuropathology director at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, “I think this complements what others have found – there appears to be a problem with cognition in a group of NFL football players at a relatively young age”. This study will continue to be reviewed by the research community and the NFL. It is hoped that the findings will contribute towards greater understanding of the role that head-related injuries plays in dementia-related diseases.

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