The Concussion Legacy Foundation released a study Wednesday that revealed former college football players from over 100 programs had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
In total, 138 former football players out of 152 studied at the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank, or 91 percent, were diagnosed with the degenerative brain disease.
As Kevin McGuire of College Football Talk noted: "How far back the study goes is not clear, but it does include at least one player from the 1969 Texas Longhorns, Greg Ploetz. The former defensive tackle died of dementia in May 2015, and it is believed he suffered from long-term effects of playing football while at Texas."
Fifteen different programs had three or more players diagnosed with CTE, including Michigan State (seven) and Georgia (six). Among the power conferences, the SEC had the most recorded cases with 28.
The study did note that the data does not suggest that playing for one particular program represents a more significant risk than playing elsewhere, however, but rather it represents the cooperation of alumni and families with CTE researchers and the willingness to donate the brains of former athletes.
Additionally, the information suggests that college players are also at risk of CTE, and that the issue isn’t exclusive to NFL players, according to the study. Two-thirds of the group studied did go on to play professional football.
The Concussion Legacy Foundation describes CTE as "a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in athletes, military veterans and others with a history of repetitive brain trauma," adding that "possible symptoms include memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, paranoia, impulse control problems, aggression, depression and eventually progressive dementia."
CTE can only be diagnosed after death by analyzing brain tissues.
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