On March 13, 2015, Chris Borland, a star rookie linebacker on the San Francisco 49ers, announced his early retirement from professional football, citing concerns about chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Borland, who had a history of 2 diagnosed concussions, walked away from a multi-million-dollar contract and potential sports superstardom, explaining that "from what I've researched and what I've experienced, I don't think it's worth the risk." 1 Perhaps just as surprising as Borland's announcement was the support he received from teammates and other athletes-support that reflects a growing recognition in the athletic community that repetitive head trauma may be associated with CTE and other forms of dementia. 2 Indeed, in a recent legal settlement, the National Football League estimated that approximately 30% of its former players will develop dementia. At the high school and college levels, state legislatures and universities have enacted limits to the number of full-contact practices, citing similar concerns about concussions. These developments have prompted a societal conversation about the risks of contact sports.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology