HealthWatch: Study Links Concussions To Permanent Brain Damage

BOSTON (CBS 5) – A new study appears to have identified a pattern matching repeated brain injury among football players with permanent impairment.

In the biggest study of its kind, researchers at Boston University analyzed the brains of deceased athletes and veterans (all of who had history of repeated head trauma), and found more than 80 percent had signs of CTE, or Traumatic Brain Encephalopathy.

What that means is these brains had scar tissue built up from getting hit on the head — and the damage was found as young as age 17. That scar tissue messes up brain cells.

To contrast this 80 percent figure, zero percent — as in none– of the brains of people who did not have a history of head injuries or sports related concussions had any sign of CTE.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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