WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- National Football League players have a nearly 30 percent chance of developing Alzheimer's or dementia, according to new report released by the attorneys representing a group of former players. The players are currently suing the NFL over long-term consequences of concussion-related injuries and the lingering ill effects of their athletic careers.
The new numbers were crunched by the Analysis Research and Planning Corporation, an actuarial firm hired by the litigating players and their attorneys. According the data, roughly 14 percent of NFL players will be diagnosed with Alzheimer's at some point during their lifetimes. Another 14 percent will develop symptoms of moderate dementia.
The report suggests NFL alums are also about twice as likely to develop ALS, Parkinson's, early-onset Alzheimer's or dementia than the general population; the numbers are also more fuel for critics who say the league has long failed to do enough to protect its players and educate them about the health consequences of their profession.
And as they say, when it rains, it pours.
Much like a quarterback in a collapsing pocket, the NFL has been blindsided and beleaguered -- hit with yet another negative storyline as the league and its besieged commissioner continue to try dig themselves out of the massive PR hole left by Ray Rice domestic abuse fiasco.
Only now, the violence being discussed is male on male, helmet to helmet -- and wholly encouraged by the nature of the game.
The newly released report isn't necessarily an attempt to pressure the NFL into agreeing to higher legal damages. The players and the league agreed to a $765 million settlement last year. But that total has yet to be affirmed by federal judges. The report will be used by judges during the settlement approval process.
Maybe the saddest part of the story is that it's more of the same old news. A study conducted in 2012 by the CDC showed NFL players were more than three times as likely to die from neurodegenerative diseases when compared the general population.