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Athletes and Brain Injuries: A Look at Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)

Updated December 28, 2018 | By Wilson Kehoe Winingham staff

In recent years, there has been increasing attention on concussions and brain injuries among athletes at all levels.

Currently, more than 4,000 former players are suing the National Football League (NFL) in federal court, alleging the league ignored and denied the link between football and brain damage. For example, Junior Seau, who was a linebacker in the NFL for twenty years and committed suicide in May 2011, tested positive for a brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

CTE is a progressive, degenerative brain disease common in athletes because of repeated brain trauma, including concussions as well as asymptomatic subconcussive hits to the head. The frequent head trauma triggers degeneration of the brain tissue and the build-up of abnormal protein called tau.

Since the 1920s, CTE has been known to affect boxers. It was not discovered in football players until 2005, when researchers at Boston University confirmed 50 cases of CTE in former football players—33 of whom played in the NFL.

Individuals with CTE may show symptoms of dementia, memory loss, aggression, confusion, and depression. These symptoms may appear within months of the trauma or many decades later.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with a brain injury, you are urged to contact the Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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