12 athletes that suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) comprised the study's sample. It was discovered that three of the 12 had symptoms similar to those of Gehrig, who died from amyotophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
ALS is rare. About 6,000 individuals in the U.S. are diagnosed with it each year.
Individuals that suffer from trauma to the head and brain develop symptoms similar to those of ALS.
The researchers identified spinal cord markings on the three individuals with symptoms that resembled Gehrig’s. They suggested that they died by concussion or other head trauma that attacks the central nervous system.
Two former football players diagnosed with ALS, Wally Hillenburg and Eric Scoggins, had the condition, according to the study.