• Kat J. McAlpine

    Editor, The Brink Twitter Profile

    Kat J McAlpine

    Kat J. McAlpine is editor of The Brink, Boston University’s news site for scientific breakthroughs and pioneering research. Kat has been telling science stories for nearly a decade, and prior to joining BU’s editorial staff, publicized research at Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, and the University of Connecticut’s School of Engineering. Profile

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There are 2 comments on Five New Answers about the Link between Football, CTE, and Dementia

  1. Why doesn’t every NFL player have CTE? So many ex-footballers seem to not be affected. Most of the media is hanging the NFL out to dry regarding this issue. I agree that the NFL has been non-cooperative and non-responsive to this important health issue, possibly criminally so. But there seems to be so many unanswered questions. The NFL doesn’t know. Doctors don’t know. Why does Mike Webster and Junior Seau get it, but Dick Butkus and Steve Young (7 concussions) do not. How much of the general population has or had CTE, so that we can compare? Their brains weren’t cut open to find out. The NFL is in self-preservation mode and I abhor their lack of morality, but I don’t know that we can go as far as saying that they are culpable for the premature deaths of some of these players. Again, why do some get it and some do not when they both have been exposed to the constant punishment over many years?

    1. Regardless of why some do vs. don’t acquire CTE, I think it’s fair to say that there is sufficient evidence for parents to make informed decisions about their young children playing tackle football. I don’t think we can hold the NFL fully accountable – think about how many other sports have dealt with the same issue and not warned athletes, i.e. NHL, boxing, skiing, etc. People continue to poke holes at the science, but these reports should at the very least be screaming PSAs to the individuals who decide to continue playing after several concussions, rather than grounds to serve up lawsuits against corporations. Unfortunately, it is probably up to the athletes to protect themselves in the long run. New regulations and better helmets can only do so much.

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