Investigating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in National Football League athletes

Takeaway

  • Incidence and mortality rates of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are almost four times higher in National Football League (NFL) athletes compared to the general population.

Why this matters ?

  • ALS is a severe, rapidly progressive, and typically fatal motor neuron disease. The etiology of ALS remains poorly understood in most cases.

  • Several risk factors have been proposed including, repetitive head impacts and traumatic brain injury. Prior studies suggest that individuals with high exposure to these factors, including elite contact and collision sports athletes, may be at increased risk of ALS.