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Mike Brown: Linking concussions and dementia is “speculation”

Mike Brown

Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown at the NFL football annual meetings at the Arizona Biltmore, Tuesday, March 19, 2013, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)


Bengals owner Mike Brown says there’s no proof that players who suffer concussions on the football field are more likely than the average man to develop dementia later in life.

Brown said today that there simply isn’t enough research to draw the conclusion that football players who suffer concussions are at greater risk of symptoms of brain damage in old age.

No one really knows what concussions mean, especially as you grow older,” Brown said, via Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “It’s not only not proven, it’s merely speculation that this is something that creates some form of dementia late in life. Our statistics — the ones I’ve seen anyway — don’t show that. I’m not convinced that anybody really knows what concussions bring, what they mean later in life if anything.”

With thousands of former players suing the NFL over the consequences of concussions, Brown and his fellow owners have a strong financial incentive not to see any link between concussions and dementia. It remains to be seen whether juries will find such a link, and hold NFL owners responsible.