Study: 99 Percent Of Deceased NFL Players Had Brain Damage

by MaryAnn Martinez | CBS11

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Brain damage caused by concussions was found in 99 percent of the brains that were researched in a newly-released study by the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, was found in 110 of 111 brains of deceased former NFL players.

The players of their families donated their brains to research after their death.

The same condition was found in 87 percent or the brains of players who played an average of 15 years, including high school and college.

Sometimes, all it takes one bad hit.

Benjamin Beggins suffered from a concussion while playing football in the 8th grade.

“How can one hit from football just after the rest of my life?” asked Beggins.

Now he’s graduated high school and traveled from Houston to Dallas to get treated at the Cerebrum Center in Dallas. The center has treated retired NFL players and even current players who don’t want anyone to know they’re being treated for brain injuries.

Dr. Brandon Brock said he isn’t surprised by new research. Brock said the risk may be even greater for high schools kids who don’t have the financial pay off NFL players do but are stuck with a concussion for years after. Dr. Brock says it’s time for parents to have an honest conversation with kids who play football.

“Do I want to put them in harm’s way where they have risk of an early onset neurodegenerative disease that can end their career or do we want to support them in their effort to become a professional football player which is probably less than one percent,” said Brock.

Beggins’ dad said if he knew then what he knows now, he wouldn’t have allowed his son to play football.

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