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One out of every Sixteen Retired NFL Players Suffering from early onset Alzheimer's and dementia

Posted Oct 01 2009 10:46pm

A study commissioned by the National Football League reports that Alzheimer's disease or similar memory-related diseases appear to have been diagnosed in the league's former players vastly more often than in the national population -- including a rate of 19 times the normal rate for men ages 30 through 49.

The study was conducted for the National Football League (NFL) by the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research.

An N.F.L. spokesman, Greg Aiello, said the study did not formally diagnose dementia, that it was subject to shortcomings of telephone surveys, and that “there are thousands of retired players who do not have memory problems.”

I doubt that the five million Americans suffering from Alzheimer's and their families will take comfort in knowing that the vast majority of Americans do not suffering from Alzheimer's and dementia.

The Michigan researchers found that 6.1 percent of players age 50 and above reported that they had received a dementia-related diagnosis, five times higher than the cited national average, 1.2 percent.

I doubt that Aiello's comments will give comfort to NFL Players. If the numbers prove to be correct about one of every six retired NFL players could be expected to suffer from dementia by age 50.

To read Dementia Risk Seen in Players in N.F.L. Study... go here.
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Bob DeMarco is the editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The Alzheimer's Reading Room is the number one website on the Internet for news, advice, and insight into Alzheimer's disease. Bob has written more than 800 articles with more than 18,000 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

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