Study finds 'increased risk' of brain disease in football players

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 28:  Strong safety David Bruton #30 of the Denver Broncos lies on the ground in pain after a play that would force him out of the game with a reported concussion during a game against the Oakland Raiders at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on December 28, 2014 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 28: Strong safety David Bruton #30 of the Denver Broncos lies on the ground in pain after a play that would force him out of the game with a reported concussion during a game against the Oakland Raiders at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on December 28, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

A Boston University study found brain disease in 99 percent of deceased NFL players.

According to the key points of a study conducted by the university, 110 out of 111 former NFL players -- whose brains were available to be studied -- showed signs of neurodegenerative brain disease, namely Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).

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Awareness in recent years has grown around the dangers of football and the risk of CTE in football players at all levels, which was made particularly prominent in the PBS documentary 'League of Denial.'

“Players of American football may be at increased risk of long-term neurological conditions, particularly chronic traumatic encephalopathy,” the study’s abstract reads.

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The study included 202 brains, donated by deceased individuals who played at all levels of the game; 111 of them were former NFL players.

Former Patriot Aaron Hernandez's brain was turned over to the university shortly after his suicide in prison earlier this year.

“In a convenience sample of deceased players of American football, a high proportion showed pathological evidence of CTE, suggesting that CTE may be related to prior participation in football,” the study reads.

MORE: NFL exec admits to CTE-football head trauma link

"The medical and scientific communities will benefit from this publication and the NFL will continue to work with a wide range of experts to improve the health of current and former NFL athletes," the NFL said in a statement. "As noted by the authors, there are still many unanswered questions relating to the cause, incidence and prevalence of long-term effects of head trauma such as CTE. The NFL is committed to supporting scientific research into CTE and advancing progress in the prevention and treatment of head injuries."

You can read the full study here.

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