BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The link between professional football and traumatic brain injuries has been thrust into the spotlight in recent years — now, a new study from Boston University's CTE Center suggests the long-term brain disorders may extend to college players too.
The study, published on Wednesday, took a look at former Notre Dame football players who were seniors on school's 1964-1980 teams. It found that players on the teams were five times more likely to have brain impairments and two and a half times more likely to report chronic headaches. They players were compared to similarly-aged men who hadn't played football in college.
The college football players did die of CTE and ALS more than others, but researchers said the difference wasn't statistically significant. The researchers were surprised by a much higher incidence of deaths from brain and other nervous system cancers in the Notre Dame players.
There was a silver lining for the college players, according to the study — there were less cases of diabetes and a lower mortality rate. Deaths from numerous kinds of disorders, affecting the heart, lungs, and intestines among other organs, were also lower.
The study's authors said the results are quite similar to similar studies done on NFL players.