Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger says a recently-released study that lends further evidence connecting football and CTE will be part of his decision whether to keep playing after this season.
CTE - also known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy - is a brain disease caused by repeated trauma to the head and is associated with symptoms such as memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, aggression, depression, anxiety, impulse control issues and suicidal thoughts.
The study, led by Dr. Ann McKee and published this week in The Journal of the American Medical Association, found CTE in 110 of the 111 brains of deceased NFL players examined. A total of 202 brains of deceased football players were examined, and of those, 177 were found to have the brain disease.
And Roethlisberger, who contemplated retirement after last season, said: "It's a factor. I think, my wife, it was more of a factor for her. You have to take it into consideration. That's why I've always been forthright and honest about my concussions and being hit in the head.
The 35-year-old has suffered multiple concussions and labelled the results of the stude "alarming".
"I want to play catch with my kids. I want to know my kids names. As much as I want my kids to remember what I did and watch me play the game, I also want to remember them when I'm 70 years old," Roethlisberger said.
"Family is the most important thing to me. As much as I love this game, family is always going to be more important.
"Once I talked to them and discussed it with them, I'm now 110 percent committed to football, and fans are going to get every ounce of me this season."