Concussion expert: CTE research in former NHL players lagging behind NFL

A year after NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was accused of being “dismissive” in response to research of a potential link between concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), at least one concussion specialist is calling for more posthumous brain donations from hockey players.

Dr. Ann McKee, the director of Boston University’s CTE Center, spoke with ESPN’s John Cooper about ongoing efforts to track the damages of concussions in hockey. And it is apparent, at least to McKee, that the NHL is still lagging when it comes to CTE findings.

“We’re not nearly as far in hockey [research] as we are in football because we just don’t have the same numbers,” McKee said, per Cooper. “It’s not a systematic study, but just anecdotally looking at the players that have come into our brain bank compared to the football players, in general I think the hockey players have less CTE or a milder CTE. But again, this is based on very few numbers and this could change. But I haven’t had the experience of seeing many, many advanced CTE cases in hockey like I have in football.”

This comes in the wake of football-based study findings this summer, when the New York Times revealed that CTE was found in all but one of 111 brains of former NFL players. That study, though not an end-all, be-all ruling on links between concussions and CTE thanks to its use of mostly brains of players who were injured decades ago, was conducted by McKee.

Article source: https://www.cbssports.com/nhl/news/concussion-expert-cte-research-in-former-nhl-players-lagging-behind-nfl/

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