In recent years, the dangers of football have come to light, particularly the condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, which develops as a result of repeated hits to the head. It might seem like common sense to expect that a sport in which players frequently jolt and hit their heads would inflict a substantial amount of physical damage, but the first diagnosis of this condition in a former NFL player did not arise until the early 2000s. Today, however, more than 100 former NFL players have been diagnosed postmortem with CTE, and it is now believed that even youth football players could be at risk for developing CTE later in life.
What is CTE?
CTE is a degenerative brain disease that is frequently associated with football players, though it can be found in anyone with a history of repetitive brain trauma. CTE causes a protein called Tau to form in clumps, spreading throughout the brain and killing its cells. Though it is uncommon, CTE has been seen in individuals as young as 17. It is more common to witness early symptoms of CTE in individuals in their late 20s and 30s.
The most common symptoms of CTE include impulse control problems, aggression, depression, and paranoia, which all progressively worsen. Patients in their 40s and 50s will begin to experience memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment and progressive dementia.
What is Being Done?
For years, the NFL refused to acknowledge the link between this disease and the repetitive concussions sustained by NFL players on the field. It was not until 2009 when the league finally recognized it and began donating money to fund concussion-related research. Additionally, steps have been taken in an attempt to make the game safer. Players who potentially sustained a concussion are removed from the field and are returned only after completing a five-step protocol that includes a period of rest. Additionally, helmet-to-helmet hits have been banned. Unfortunately, while these steps are headed in the right direction, football remains a dangerous sport. As long as person-to-person collisions are an integral part of the game, it is likely players will always be at risk for developing this disease.
Catastrophic Brain Injury Attorneys in Baltimore
Brain injuries should never be taken lightly, especially given the potential this type of injury has for inflicting permanent damage on an individual. If you suffered a brain injury, reach out to the Baltimore team of personal injury attorneys at Brown & Barron, LLC to discuss the details of your case. Our highly qualified attorneys will fight diligently on your behalf to recover the compensation you deserve.
For the fierce legal advocacy you need during this difficult time, call our office today t (410) 698-1717 and schedule your free initial case evaluation. We are available to take your call 24/7.