Startling findings in link between brain disease, football - CBS46 News

Startling findings in link between brain disease, football

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)

CBS46 is digging into startling findings in the link between brain disease and football. A new study shows just how extensive the problem is among NFL players who have taken repeated hits to the head.

CBS46 is taking a closer look at a massive lawsuit against the NFL because of a condition called CTE.

The disease was found in the brains of 99 percent of the players studied. The only way to diagnose CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, is by dissecting the brain once a player has died.

It's a high price to play in the NFL.

Metro Atlanta attorney Tiffany Porter represents more than 200 former NFL players in the CTE-concussion lawsuit against the league. She says the latest research reinforces the need for every player, no matter their age, to register to be part of the NFL's $1 billion settlement agreement.

"This study shows everyone, look, this is bound to happen, but what can we do, and how can we help these players through their journey if in-fact they begin to have difficulties, and making sure they get help sooner than later," says Porter.

The agreement will provide money for medical expenses for players while they are still alive, based on their years in the league and their diagnosis. 

CTE can't be diagnosed until after a player's death.

Former players like Green Bay Packers and now Atlanta resident Eric Matthews are well aware of dangers on the field. Matthews has undergone extensive full body exams to test for side effects from the hard hits.

"You got dinged, you got dizzy, you might have went to the sidelines, like I'm kind of dizzy, probably wait a little while and went back in the game, and probably had a concussion, but never knew," says Matthews.

The deadline for NFL players to register for the CTE-concussion settlement is August 7. The payouts are expected soon after that.

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