The New York Times has posted brain scans of former NFL football players from a study that found 110 of 111 had C.T.E., a disease linked to blows to the head.

The article notes that the scans include that of a former Razorback star. It said, beneath the image:


The scan above is from the brain of Ronnie Caveness, a linebacker for the Houston Oilers and Kansas City Chiefs. In college, he helped the Arkansas Razorbacks go undefeated in 1964. One of his teammates was Jerry Jones, now the owner of the Dallas Cowboys. Jones has rejected the belief that there is a link between football and C.T.E.

The researcher notes a selection bias. Families of people showing symptoms volunteered.

But 110 positives remain significant scientific evidence of an N.F.L. player’s risk of developing C.T.E., which can be diagnosed only after death. About 1,300 former players have died since the B.U. group began examining brains. So even if every one of the other 1,200 players would have tested negative — which even the heartiest skeptics would agree could not possibly be the case — the minimum C.T.E. prevalence would be close to 9 percent, vastly higher than in the general population.

Increasing awareness has led to the encouragement of safer tackling and discouragement of conventional football for young children.


Noted: Jason Snavely of Fox 16 told the Caviness story earlier, in a segment here.