NFL on concussions: No direct evidence linking them with brain disease

Published January 1, 2016

So this is pretty funny… or, rather, not. When asked about chronic traumatic encephalopathy — CTE, the recently-discovered brain disease caused by repeated head injury — the NFL’s chief health and medical advisor cautioned that we shouldn’t, you know, jump to conclusions.

She told STAT that “We know what the pathology [of CTE] looks like, but we are less clear what are the causes that lead to it.” Then, from a later STAT piece:

Nabel said she was concerned that media coverage of the posthumous diagnosis of CTE in 87 former NFL players had raised public anxiety about the dangers of football “without any direct evidence” that multiple concussions cause long-term brain disease.

So the official position of the NFL, at this point, is that there is no direct evidence linking multiple concussions with long-term brain disease. Mull that statement over a bit. The official position of the NFL is that there is no direct evidence linking multiple concussions with long-term brain disease.