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Nearly 30 Percent of Former NFL Players will Suffer from Cognitive Decline

Update Date: Sep 13, 2014 09:30 AM EDT
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Football is one of the most dangerous sports out there. Several studies have found that even though the players wear helmets, any impact to the head can negatively affect the brain in the long-term. According to the National Football Association (NFL), about three out of 10 former NFL players will develop some kind of neurodegenerative disease. NFL players are also more likely to develop mental health illnesses earlier and at least two times more often in comparison to people from the general population.

The data were compiled for the Senior U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody as a part of a lawsuit filed in Philadelphia that claims that the NFL failed to share its knowledge on the link between concussions and brain injuries. These reports were created so that Judge Brody could determine whether or not the proposed settlement that the two sides reached was appropriate.

In the reports, the NFL and some of the athletes' lawyers stated that around 28 percent of football athletes will be diagnosed with Alzheimer's diseases or some form of dementia. This means that around 6,000 former players out of more than 19,000 will have some kind of mental illness at some point in their lives.

The reports also stated that ex-NFL players that are between the ages of 50 and 59 will have Alzheimer's disease and dementia rates that are about 14 to 23 times higher than the rates calculated from the general public within the same age group. For former players that are 60 to 64-years-old, their rates of Alzheimer's disease and dementia rates will be about 35 times greater than the general population.

"These results validate that our assumptions are reasonable and conservative because when compared to prevalence rates among the general population, they are significantly higher," wrote The Segal Group in the documents prepared for and presented by the NFL reported by ESPN according to ABC News. "Moreover, as anticipated, the model determines that players will first be diagnosed with qualifying diagnoses at a younger age than the general population, which is consistent with plaintiffs' allegations."

Both sides of the group has agreed to include "$675 million for player awards," according to Philly, Another $75 million and $10 million will go toward baseline assessments and research respectively. Five million will be used for public notice. The proposed settlement will not account for current NFL players.

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