New Discovery of CTE found in Soccer players


The Jeff Astle foundation takes to the stands to enhance the importance of Jeff’s death, and the need to further the research to justify the death of their beloved friend and former football legend.

Brandon Russell, Photojournalist

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease thought to be caused by repeated injuries to the head. Four former soccer players who have suffered from mass amounts of dementia have been tested to discover whether or not this disease is the cause of their brain damage. Over the past decade, many supporters of the sport have questioned whether or not the sport of soccer is undergoing a concussion crisis. According to CNN, Jeff Astle, a former British player, began drawing the world’s attention to the connection between soccer and dementia. After his passing at the age of fifty-nine, the coroner’s office determined the ultimate cause of his death to be “death by industrial disease.” He was later diagnosed with the disease of CTE after his passing. In accordance with the Jeff Astle Foundation, they have discovered that more than two hundred and fifty soccer players all around the world are suffering from some form of a neurodegenerative disease. Stated by CNN, this research has come to sight due to the presence of vast amounts of Alzheimer’s disease on past British soccer club.


The study of how the discovery came about was from the lifestyles and career paths of fourteen deceased soccer players who had dementia, twelve of whom died of advanced dementia. According to CNN, what scientists were predominantly looking for was a connection from any past neurological diseases to the present diagnosis of CTE. Ways in which the connection was made was by investigating the blood vessels inside of the brain and comparing it to the brains of former football players who have suffered from this disease.


“This is the first time CTE has been confirmed in a group of retired footballers,” said Dr. Helen Ling of the University College London Institute of Neurology, who led the study. “They all sustained minor blows to the head thousands of times.” These minor blows in which were sustained by six players diagnosed with CTE all accumulated into one major blow in which ultimately caused this terrible disease. This diagnosis is equivalent to the blows sustained by football players; however, none of the soccer players have suffered from any concussions throughout their respective careers.

This study raises the question of what to do to alert and advise the world of the dangers of CTE. Although, the researchers advise not to halt the playing of soccer, but to however implement more rules renouncing the risk factor of brain related injuries in youth and adult leagues all across the country. Cameron Carlson (10) “had two concussions in [his] soccer career and have not yet thought about the effects of CTE. Now knowing the effects I am now considering taking more caution and even wearing a concussion proof headband.” According to CNN, the American Youth Soccer Organization has eliminated “heading” all together for players under the age of ten and has limited “heading” during practice for those between eleven and thirteen. The new development of this brain damage is being discovered in soccer players bodies, and it’s making its way into the eyes of the public and creating a force that prevents this disease from ever affecting an athlete again.