MAR 23, 2016 05:08 AM PDT

NFL Admits Connection to Brain Disease CTE

While the subject of brain injuries, concussion and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) have swirled around the NFL for years, recent developments have brought the disease, and the NFL’s part in it, to the forefront in many ways.
The NFL now admits that football injuries cause CTE

In 2013, the NFL settled a suit involving 4,500 former players and their estates who had all alleged that different forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease and CTE, were a direct result of concussions and head injuries suffered while they played pro football. At the time, no one from the NFL would admit or even speak about the connection between these forms of dementia, as well as other conditions like PTSD, depression and anxiety and the game.
The settlement in 2013 was made as a result of mediation ordered by a federal court. According to an news story in August of 2013, Commissioner Rodger Goodell told league lawyers to, “do the right thing for the game and the men who played it." The settlement terms covered only prior cases of illness or death, and took no responsibility for any future cases.
The fact that future cases were not included and that the league still was not admitting any connection caused some players to appeal the 2013 settlement.  Dr. Ann McKee, the director of The CTE Center in Boston at BU Medical School found that 96% of the former NFL players who had donated their brains to research after death were found to have CTE and it was this data that kept some players from accepting any settlement that did not include future cases of the devastating disease.
On March 14, 2016 at a roundtable discussion in Washington DC held by the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations  Jeff Miller, the NFL's executive vice president for health and safety, was answering questions from Representative Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill, who had also questioned McKee in the same discussion.
Schakowsky asked Miller about the research done at BU and his answer was:
“Well, certainly, Dr. McKee's research shows that a number of retired NFL players were diagnosed with CTE, so the answer to that question is certainly 'yes,' but there are also a number of questions that come with that," Miller said.
Schakowsky interrupted and stressed again, "Is there a link?"
"Yes. Sure," Miller responded.
In an article by ESPN Senior Writer Steve Fainaru, the exchange was detailed further with Schakowsky’s comments on what Dr. Mitchell Berger said in January around the time of the Super Bowl.
Schakowsky said:
"Because we feel -- well, I feel -- that was not the unequivocal answer three days before the Super Bowl by Dr. Mitchel Berger."

"Well, I'm not gonna speak for Dr. Berger," Miller said.

Upon hearing what Miller said in the hearing, Steven Molo, the attorney for NFL players challenging the settlement, wrote to the federal court, “The NFL’s comments further signal the NFL’s acceptance of Dr. McKee’s conclusions regarding CTE — a stark turn from its position before the district court, which relied on the NFL’s experts to dismiss the significance of the same research.” Molo is seeking to have future cases of CTE included in any settlement. 

Take a look at the video below to hear more about Miller’s statements at the discussion in Washington and how those statements might affect the appeal of the 2013 settlement.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
NOV 05, 2018
NOV 05, 2018
How does Brain's GPS work?
Understanding the brain cells involved in decoding and encoding naviagtional information....
DEC 05, 2018
DEC 05, 2018
The Case For Sexual Healing In Heart Patients
Sex is an important component in the lives of most healthy adults. As such, it is essential for providers working with post-coronary patients to advise the...
NOV 16, 2018
Genetics & Genomics
NOV 16, 2018
Using Light to Control Organ Development
Optogenetics combined genetic engineering with optics to create a way to control cellular behaviors with light....
NOV 24, 2018
Genetics & Genomics
NOV 24, 2018
Alzheimer's Researchers Detect Genetic Recombination in the Brain
Our genomic sequence is thought to remain the same throughout our lives. But new research has found evidence to the contrary....
NOV 26, 2018
Clinical & Molecular DX
NOV 26, 2018
Yours truly, microglia
Microglia, found primarily in CNS plays a role in many disease progression, hence a review to see how it might come to be....
DEC 12, 2018
Health & Medicine
DEC 12, 2018
Let it All Out - Swearing is Healthy for You
Lalochezia is an emotional relief obtained by spewing vulgar language, and science suggests that swearing regularly could be good for your overall health a...
Loading Comments...