HOUSTON, TX - CTE is a scary acronym for football players. It stands for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy , which is a degenerative brain disease , and a large part of the concussion debate in football.
CTE is widely believed to stem from repetitive trauma to the head, and researchers say it can lead to memory loss, depression and dementia.
Researchers at Boston University and the Department of Veterans Affairs have been studying CTEfor years now, but it`s their most recent numbers that are catching extra attention.
According to a report by PBS, 87 of the 91 former NFL players researchers examined, have tested positive for CTE. That's a startling 96%.
Studying CTE is not easy, because, as of right now, doctors can only identify the disease in brains of those who have died, but as more research emerges, so does awareness.
"It's something I think the league, us as a whole, have heard more about and kind of taken notice of, just because of so many things coming to light these days, which is a good thing, because when we're done with this game, you still want to be able to function as a human being,' said Texans Offensive Lineman, Duane Brown.
It's not only NFL players testing positive for CTE. Researchers looked at football players across all levels, from high school to the big leagues, and in that larger group of 165* subjects, they found traces of CTE in 131 of them.
"I think it's just something that you have to be smart about, not try to rush or lose your patience with, because the brain is very precious and you have to take care of it,' added Brown.
According to the NFL`s 2015 Health and Safety Report, the league saw a 35% drop in regular-season concussions over the last two years, but even with progress being made, there is plenty of work to do, to better understand contact and its consequences.