NFL players’ brains take a hit

Brain scans reveal hidden abnormalities in retired football pros

By Laura Sanders, 17:26 PM October 20, 2013

A punishing football career leaves a legacy in the brain. By revealing signs of brain damage in 13 retired NFL players, a brain-scanning study is the latest to show the effects of repeated hits to the head.

The former NFL players performed almost normally on a tricky logic problem that relies on spatial perception and planning. But functional MRI brain scans uncovered changes that the behavioral test missed. Compared with people who didn’t suffer blows to the head, retired NFL players had abno...

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