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Editorial calls for more research on link between football and brain damage
- By Patrick J. Skerrett, Former Executive Editor, Harvard Health
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To believe that DP, which is now included under the more popular name of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE, ) would not occur in at least some NFL players was/is naive. The salient questions include what is the actual prevalence/incidence, “dose-response”, susceptibility factors, and natural history.
The clinical probable diagnosis of “Dementia Pugilistica” (DP) in boxers was also described in other sports/occupations (including football), with high risk of exposure to repetitive concussive and/or subconcussive head trauma, well before 2005. To believe that DP, which is now included under the more popular name of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE, ) would not occur in at least some NFL players was/is naive. The salient questions include what is the actual prevalence/incidence, “dose-response”, susceptibility factors, and natural history. These questions cannot be determined by neuropathological studies of highly selected individuals who donate their brains, but requires long-term well designed prospective studies as noted.
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