Science Vs
Science Vs
Sep 26, 2019
Football: Should We Cancel It?
Play • 32 min

America’s favorite pastime seems to be plagued by tragedy. Former NFL players have come forward to say they’re suffering from a serious brain disease. Others have ended their lives. So we wanted to know: how risky is playing football? Cornerback Isiah Swann, neuroscientist Dr. Kevin Bieniek, neurosurgeon Prof. Bob Cantu, and neurologist Dr. Ira Casson weigh in.

Check out the full transcript here:

Note: In this episode we discuss depression and suicide. Please take care when listening to the show. National Mental Health Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Selected references: The preliminary criteria for diagnosing CTE agreed upon in 2016:  Kevin’s brain bank study: The 99% study: The Lancet: Neurology letter: and a response: A survey of former NFL players to see how they’re doing: 

Credits: This episode was produced by Rose Rimler with help from Wendy Zukerman, along with Meryl Horn and Lexi Krupp. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music written by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger, and Bobby Lord. Recording assistance from Dennis Maler. A big thanks to Prof. Adam Finkel, Prof. Rudy Castellani, Assistant Prof. Robert Lynall, Dr. Eckhard Mandelkow, David Chalmers, Buddy Teevens, and many more. Plus a special thanks to Jim Grau, the Zukerman family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.

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