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Dementia Risk Higher for NFL Players
Date:9/30/2009

hysical fitness [including low rates of smoking and high levels of physical activity] shows up in lower rates of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. On most other health problems, they are similar to or healthier than the general population. However, they do have much higher rates of arthritis and reported pain and mobility problems than the general population."

The NFL released this statement about the survey on Wednesday: "The primary purpose was to get a better look at the overall condition of retired players, and identify specific areas where we can further address their needs. The survey found that playing in the NFL was a very positive experience for most retired players, and that overall they are in very good physical and financial condition."

The statement also responded to the dementia finding: "The survey makes no link between concussions and memory disorders. Concussion as one of many potential factors in memory disorders is being studied throughout the medical community, including our own study on the long-term effects of concussions on retired players. Meanwhile, our focus is also on the proper prevention and treatment of concussions in today's game. We do this through rules changes and enforcement; education of players, their families, coaches and team personnel; and ensuring that our players have the best medical care available. Our medical staffs take a cautious and conservative approach to managing concussions, including expanded use of neuropsychological testing and return-to-play guidelines."

More information

To learn more about concussions, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.



SOURCES: Greg Cole, Ph.D., associate director, Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer's Disease Research, and professor, medicine and neurology, Univer
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