The Checkup: NFL Vets More Prone to Death from Brain Disease

A new study of former pro football players found that they have an unusually high risk for death from brain diseases.

• It’s not all fame and fortune in professional sports. New research published this week shows that NFL vets face an unusually high risk for death from brain diseases, compared to the general population. Among former football players, the death rate from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease combined was three times higher than what experts expect to see in men of similar age. The study builds on prior research which had suggested that football players were more prone to such diseases in the first place. The researchers looked at more than 3,400 former pro football players who played for at least five seasons. As the Associated Press notes, “Researchers noted that the study can’t prove that the results were caused by football-related concussions, and that they may not apply to pro or amateur players who’ve played fewer than five years.”

• Cool technology alert: New research shows that a heart device which gets its power from radio waves and is the size of the head of a pin (!!) is feasible. Next up: endoscopes you swallow like a pill.

• Hey-yo—one more reason to drink a cup of coffee: it may help reduce pain. LA Times has more.