Link between NFL head injuries, brain trauma exists


The NFL finally admitted what many already knew, saying there is a link between football-related head trauma and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.

The league's senior vice-president for health and safety, Jeff Miller, told the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Energy & Commerce there "is certainly" a link between football and neurodegenerative diseases like CTE.

Miller based his answer on the work of Dr. Ann McKee, a Boston University neuropathologist who has diagnosed CTE in the brains of 176 people, including those of 90 of 94 former NFL players, according to

Miller answered Monday's question from Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., by saying the league needs to know more about the prevalence of CTE to better understand how to prevent it. 

"I think the broader point, and the one that your question gets to, is what that necessarily means, and where do we go from here with that information," Miller said, via ESPN.

Miller's admission comes a month after the Canadian Medical Association published a study that linked concussions to CTE and a dramatic increase in the risk of suicide.

Before Super Bowl 50, Dr. Mitch Berger, a San Francisco neurosurgeon and chair of the NFL subcommittee on long-term brain injury, said there is no direct connection between football and CTE.

"The NFL is peddling a false sense of security," Schakowsky said.

"Football is a high-risk sport because of the routine hits, not just diagnosable concussions. What the American public need now is honesty about the health risks and clearly more research."