Discovery Of Deadly Disease Affecting Rugby Players
A world-first discovery.
A leading Sydney researcher has discovered a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated head trauma after conducting an autopsy on two former rugby league players.
The autopsies were performed on two ex-professional NRL players who each participated in 150 first-grade games over their lifetime.
The landmark finding is the first time Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) - colloquially known as being "punch drunk" - has been found in rugby league players.
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) has never before been identified in rugby league players, however, it’s well-documented in retired American NFL athletes.
A 2017 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that 110 out of 111 brains of NFL players examined showed evidence of CTE. The brains belonged to players who died as young as 23 to as old as 89.
The NRL has tightened guidelines for managing player concussions in recent years, with players suffering a concussion undergoing a strict Head Injury Assessment and barred from playing until they’ve been cleared by a doctor.
According to the NRL, a concussion occurs once in around three and a half matches.
A spokesperson for the NRL told the Sydney Morning Herald "The findings released today will be reviewed by the NRL before any further comment is made."
Protect your heads folks, you’ve only got one!
Image: Getty/Paul Kane/Stringer
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