NFL acknowledges link between football and brain disorders
17 March 2016, Nirapad News: The NFL is standing behind a top executive’s acknowledgement that the brain disease CTE can be linked to football.
The comments by Jeff Miller, the senior vice president for health and safety, “accurately reflect the view of the NFL,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy said Tuesday. Miller spoke Monday at a congressional committee’s roundtable discussion about concussions.
League officials have long denied proof of a connection between playing in the NFL and the condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Miller told the congressional panel that brain research on former NFL players “certainly” shows a link between football and CTE. Responding to questions, Miller referenced the work of Boston University neuropathologist Dr. Ann McKee, who has found CTE in the brains of 90 former pro football players.
“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. CTE is tied to repeated brain trauma and associated with symptoms such as memory loss, depression and progressive dementia. Players diagnosed after their deaths include Hall of Famers Junior Seau, Ken Stabler and Mike Webster.
Four Democratic members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter Tuesday to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, saying Miller’s comments are encouraging in that the league is willing accept the science linking repetitive hits with CTE. The congressmen want answers from Goodell by March 29 on the NFL’s plans to protect both current players in the league and in youth programs.