"In the new study, the largest of its kind, 40 living former players were given sensitive brain scans, known as diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), as well as thinking and memory tests."
"No one has ever looked at this number of (living) players before," Conidi said."
"The DTI scans, which measure water flow between parts of the brain, revealed damage in 17 of the men, or 43 percent. That percentage was about three times higher than among the general population, Conidi said. Traditional MRI scans showed signs of damage in 12 ex-players, or 30 percent."
"The longer a player was in the league, the greater the likelihood the advanced scan would reveal signs of brain damage, the neurologist said, a correlation that did not show up with traditional scans. With both types of scanning, there was no relationship between the number of diagnosed concussions suffered by a player and signs of brain damage."
"That finding suggests the constant banging that players experience during games and practices, especially those playing offensive and defensive line positions, puts them more at risk than the big hits that cause concussions, Conidi told Reuters."