NFL players are likely to suffer chronic brain injury at a "significantly higher" rate than the general population and also show neurocognitive impairment at a much younger age, according to documents filed on behalf of the league in federal court Friday.
Former players between 50 and 59 years old develop Alzheimer's disease and dementia at rates 14 to 23 times higher than the general population of the same age range, according to the documents. The rates for players between 60-64 are as much as 35 times the rate of the general population, the documents reported.
The figures, compiled by actuarials hired by the NFL, appeared to be the first public admission by the league that retired players incur brain damage more frequently than the general public. The report did not specify why the rates for retired players are significantly higher.