In the News: Brain Disease Found in 99% of Deceased NFL Players, Owning a Dog Can Improve Physical Health, Sperm Count Dropping in Men Across the World

Brain disease found in 99% of deceased NFL players. According to a study in the JAMA medical journal, 99 percent of deceased NFL players showed signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a neurodegenerative brain disease. This condition, often seen in patients with consistent head trauma, causes a buildup of an abnormal protein that can switch off certain neural pathways and cause side effects like depression, anxiety, confusion, poor judgment, lack of control, and even suicidal ideation. Since an autopsy is required to properly diagnose this condition, it can be tricky determining who is currently afflicted with this condition. These findings do show how important it is to take proper care when playing contact sports and to seek help if any of these symptoms appear. Learn more about head injuries here. (CNN)

Owning a dog can improve physical health. While we all know that having a dog can improve overall happiness and improved mental health, a new study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health shows that dog owners are less stressed, more active, have a decreased risk of asthma, and have lowered blood pressure as well. While studying over 3,000 participants ranging in age from 49-91, researchers found that the participants who didn’t own dogs were sedentary for 30 minutes more than the ones who did. These findings may have implications in the senior citizen community, since retirement can often lead to a less active lifestyle. Owning a dog may just be the trick to maintain good health physically and mentally. (TIME)

Sperm count dropping in men across the world. After assessing the results over almost 200 studies conducted on men in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, researchers found that sperm counts have halved in less than four decades. These findings were the culmination of research from 1973 to 2011. When looking for an explanation, scientists point to an increased exposure to pesticides and plastic chemicals, along with lifestyle issues like obesity, stress, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle. Find out how to boost testosterone here. (BBC)