A new report centering on CTE has been released and it should be taken as a very big warning sign for the Nebraska football program.
Over the last few years, the study of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) has been getting quite a bit more coverage. The latest report shows just how debilitating and dangerous it can be on sufferers.
The new report obviously doesn’t call out Nebraska football specifically. However, it should be taken as a warning sign for anyone playing football that CTE is not, in any way, shape or form, something that should be taken lightly.
The results are absolutely striking. ESPN reported that more than 40 percent of youth, high school and college athletes who were exposed to repetitive head impacts from contact sports and died before the age of 30 were diagnosed with the degenerative brain disorder. The vast majority of those athletes played football.
The new study, which is hopefully being circulated around the halls of the Nebraska football program, was carried out by the Boston University CTE Center. The center’s numbers are based on an examination of 152 donated brains. BU said the study represents the most significant case series on athletes who died young.
Nebraska football gets another CTE warning
The 40 percent number is striking enough. However, the center’s leader outlined just how shocking the findings are.
“The fact that over 40 percent of young contact and collision sport athletes in the UNITE brain bank have CTE is remarkable, considering that studies of community brain banks show that fewer than 1 percent of the general population has CTE,” said Dr. Ann McKee, lead author on the study and director of the BU CTE Center.
There is one bright spot in the report that Nebraska football players can take solace in. The center makes it clear that not every football player will develop CTE.
That also gives the Nebraska football program something to aim for. There are already some steps that football programs are taking to try and reduce the dangers of repeated concussions, which seemingly raises the odds of developing CTE.
As has long been the case, the real horror of this condition is that at the moment, it’s not something that can be reliably diagnosed ahead of time. In order to conclusively see whether CTE was a factor in someone’s behavior (which ends in suicide to an alarming degree) doctors need to examine a deceased person’s brain.
This is why this kind of warning for Nebraska football unfortunately only comes as something to look out for and not a way to really stop CTE.