(NEW YORK) -- A recent study showed that over 40 percent of retired NFL players suffered from problems such as dementia and depression, adding to a heaping mound of evidence that recurring sports-related head traumas can result in long-term neurological problems, Health Day reports.
Researchers from the Center for Brain Health at the University of Texas at Dallas analyzed 34 ex-professional football players, with an average age of 62, on such things as memory, problem-solving, reasoning and behavior. They found that 20 of the men tested normal while the remaining retirees suffered from memory and thinking deficits, depression or a combination of both.
Dr. John Hart, the author of the study, said they found that many men were depressed but weren't aware of it. He said the cognitive impairments were more than what is expected for their ages, and noted that many of the men had damage to their brain's white matter, which is a marker to look for, says Health Day.
Hart's study included ex-NFL athletes from North Texas. Researchers also analyzed the brains of 26 people from the general population with no signs of mental deficits, and matched in age, education and IQ.
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