Football Fallout

Years in the NFL may prime players for dementia

Denis Poroy / AP

Football is a contact sport, and for many players, that contact ends up being head to head. A growing number of retired players are turning up with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a form of dementia that can lead to Alzheimer's, and a study has revealed how likely the risk is.

Surveying 513 retired NFL players, scientists found that 35% scored poorly enough on a test for Alzheimer's symptoms to indicate dementia. When a random sample of 41 of those low-scoring players was studied more closely, their scores on other cognitive tests indicated that their brain functions were closer to those of...

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