The Doctor Who Discovered CTE Says There's a '90 to 100 Percent Chance' All NFL Players Will Suffer From the Disease

Dr. Bennet Omalu says NFL players have a greater than 90 percent chance of suffering from TE later in their lives.

The Doctor Who Discovered CTE Says There's a '90 to100 Percent Chance' All NFL Players Will Suffer From the Disease

It's Super Bowl week in San Francisco, which means everyone who is anyone in the world of the NFL is in the Bay Area taking in the sights and sounds of what's become a bigger week-long holiday than Christmas. The Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos are preparing to face off on Sunday, but hundreds of other players who aren't in the game  have also traveled to San Francisco to be in the atmosphere, take meetings and mingle.

What's somewhat terrifying to think about is that, according to Dr. Bennet Omalu, almost all of the players hanging out on the West Coast this week will end up suffering from CTE at some point during their lives.

Lost in all the Super Bowl festivities this week was a speech delivered by Omalu, the doctor who discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy in the brain of Pittsburgh Steelers legend Mike Webster, in which he said the following:

Omalu, who was portrayed by Will Smith in the recent movie Concussion and who faced a severe backlash from the NFL when he correlated CTE to the repeated head trauma suffered by football players, went on to compare concussions to cigarettes, saying "there's no safe blow to your head, just like there is no safe cigarette."

He finished up with this:

Strong words, for sure, but the evidence is impossible to ignore. To this point, CTE has only been discoverable post-mortem after an autopsy. But Omalu recently performed a new type of test, called TauMark, to scan the brain of a living person whom he suspected may be suffering from CTE. That person was Fred McNeill, a former NFL player, and the results showed telltale signs of CTE in the form of red splotches on his brain, representing the tau protein that forms and suffocates the brain.

It's disturbing to think about, especially during the NFL's biggest week, but Omalu has now made very clear what he considers are the dire consequences of playing football.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

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