The degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) has been diagnosed in 110 of 111 former NFL players whose brains were donated for research, according to an updated study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association on Tuesday.
In total, CTE was diagnosed in 87 percent of 202 former football players—including high school, college, NFL, Canadian Football League and semipro. The study, the largest conducted into the potential link of brain trauma in football and CTE, was led by researchers at Boston University and the VA Boston Healthcare System.
“This is just a tremendous resource for research,” Boston University neuropathologist Ann McKee, a co-author on the study, said in an interview with USA TODAY Sports.
“All this tissue was very generously donated. But it’s not just sitting in a vault. It can be used by researchers to detect the disease, and to help find the disease during a person’s life,” McKee said.
The authors of the study wrote in their report: “The findings suggest that CTE may be related to prior participation in football, and that a high level of play may be related to substantial disease burden.”