Doctors have known about a link between CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and concussions for a while now. A new study published last month in the medical journal JAMA has solidly backed up that information, reporting that there is indeed a link between the neurodegenerative disease and repeated concussions in professional athletes. The study researched donated brains of former football players to look for CTE, which can only be completely diagnosed in an autopsy.

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a degenerative brain disease that is caused by the repetition of serious head trauma, such as concussions. Although it is a somewhat uncommon condition among the general public, it is thought to be much more prevalent among football players. This is due to repeated head injuries over a long period of time.

Head injuries caused by concussions can become more serious after repeated injuries. This is especially true if the initial concussion is not allowed to completely heal before another injury occurs. In these cases, the patient could suffer immediate and long-term brain damage as a result. In many situations, however, repeated concussions mount up over time, causing CTE. There is still much to be learned about this disease.

Signs of CTE
There are a number of symptoms that may be attributed to CTE. Some of the signs include problems thinking, depression, short-term memory loss, emotional instability, problems doing simple tasks, and motor impairment. Some other symptoms may also be associated with CTE such as increased aggression, substance abuse, suicidal feelings, vision problems, and dementia.

Doctors and scientists are still learning more about the causes and symptoms of CTE to better understand how it may be prevented or treated. So far, what is known is that repeated injuries to the brain are the most likely explanation for CTE.

Results of the Study
The study is the most recent attempt to connect the degenerative disease to repeated head injuries. The study looked at 202 brains from deceased football players including professional, college and high school players. Of the brains examined, 177 were diagnosed with CTE. 111 brains were from NFL players and of those, 110 were found to have CTE. Included in the study were the brains of some players who had been previously diagnosed with CTE before their deaths. The study is just another step in the process of gathering information about CTE to learn about the long-term impact of head trauma on the brain.

Legal Action
A federal judge approved a class action lawsuit last year allowing former NFL players to take legal action against the NFL. The lawsuit settlement approved up to $5 million dollars per player. Additionally, the NFL has donated millions of dollars to support CTE and other brain-related research.
Those who are injured due to repeated head injuries should seek medical care.

If CTE is a likely diagnosis, an injured athlete could seek legal action against the team or entity due to negligence by allowing players to suffer repeated head injuries. Contact the legal team at the Law Office of Patrick G. Shea to discuss your legal case today.


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