NFL Play Leads to Higher Risk of Death from Alzheimer's and ALS A recent study in the journal Neurology looked at thousands of former NFL players and found that they suffered a higher incidence of death from conditions like Alzheimer’s and ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) versus the normal U.S. population. Former football players were found to be three times more likely than non-players to have died from a neurodegenerative disease.The risks were three times greater for players in so-called “speed” positions–including quarterback, running back, halfback, fullback, and tight end–compared to “non-speed” players like offensive and defensive linemen.

The researchers also investigated Parkinson’s disease, but found no evidence of elevated risk for that condition.They noted that in cases where cause of death was reported as Alzheimer’s or ALS, there could be a possibility of confusion or complication from brain injury and that cause of death may have been mis-attributed or a combination of multiple factors.

To learn more, you can read the press release at the American Association of Neurology website.