Dr. Ann McKee: How Do We Prevent CTE in the NFL?

"We made this game up; it didn’t come down from the heavens." Dr. Ann McKee knows the popularity of football and explains how changes can be made to prevent chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

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I think we do have to think about prevention of this disease because it is a preventable disease so that one of our arms going forward to improve the health of society has to be prevention. And that has to be preventing the intrinsic sub-concussive hits, which the National Football League has not dealt with at all. They’ve addressed concussion. Concussion is an injury, but that is not the injury that leads to CTE is sub-concussive hits. Now, often they go together, right? You’re getting small hits and you’re getting big hits. But we do see about 20% of CTE without concussion. So it’s not the concussion per say. It’s the hits coming in rapid succession. The NFL has not addressed that. They have not changed the kind of playing because nobody wants to have football without tackling, without as many collisions because that tends to be a very popular aspect of the sport, right? And it would be a highly different game. But we made this game up; it didn’t come down from the heavens. Nobody said we had to play it this way. So I think it’s time, collectively, to make some changes so that it’s safe. This video was produced by BrainLine thanks to generous support from the Infinite Hero Foundation.
Posted on BrainLine January 11, 2019.

This video was produced by BrainLine thanks to generous support from the Infinite Hero Foundation.

About the author: Ann McKee, MD

Ann McKee, MD is the chief neuropathologist for the Framingham Heart Study and the Boston University-based Centenarian Study. She is also the chief neuropathologist for the Boston-based Veterans Administration Medical Centers and for the Sports Legacy Institute.

Ann McKee

Comments (1)

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Is there supplements to help prevent CTE?
My husband played football through high school and college. I would love to know what supplements may help. This is very valuable information so less people will suffer