A U.S. National Football League official has for the first time acknowledged a link between head trauma in the country's most popular sport and the brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.
The NFL has previously not acknowledged a link between repeated head trauma in football and CTE, which can cause symptoms such as memory loss and depression.
NFL Senior Vice President for Health and Safety Jeff Miller was asked about the link during a roundtable discussion on concussions convened by the U.S House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce.
"The answer to that question is certainly yes,” Miller said, citing research by Boston University neuropathologist Dr. Anne McKee, who has found CTE in the brains of dozens of former NFL players.
“I think the broader point, and the one that your question gets to, is what that necessarily means, and where do we go from here with that information,” Miller added.
CTE can only be diagnosed post mortem.
Ken Stabler and Junior Seau are among the former NFL players found to have CTE. Seau, the long time San Diego Chargers linebacker, committed suicide in 2012.