Untitled---2023-09-08T141104.665.jpgThere has been much controversy over the past decade or so about the catastrophic effects that professional athletes suffer from brain injuries and repeated hits to their heads, particularly professional football and hockey players. After years of participating professionally in their chosen sports, many players develop chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive and fatal disease of the brain. While CTE has been associated with professional athletes, a new study shows that the condition is developing in people at much younger ages than previously thought.

Any brain injury has the potential to cause devastating disabilities. An Illinois brain injury attorney knows that one or more brain injuries have the potential to cause significant health issues later, as this new study reveals.

What Is CTE?

CTE is a fatal condition that is caused by traumatic brain injuries. Multiple studies have shown that people who suffer a brain injury – including concussions – are two to four times more at risk for developing dementia as they get older. People who have suffered multiple head injuries have an even higher risk.

Signs of the condition include confusion, issues with memory, cognitive issues, and personality changes that often include depression, aggression, and thoughts of suicide.

There is no diagnostic test available for CTE. Confirmation of the condition can only be confirmed by an autopsy of the brain once the person has died. There are also no known treatments. Some of the professional athletes who have died and were found to be suffering from CTE after they had died include:

  • Demaryius Thomas, 33

  • Aaron Hernandez, 28

  • Adrian Robinson, 30

  • Andre Waters, 44

  • Bubba Smith, 66

  • Chris Henry, 26

New CTE Study with Student Athletes

Researchers recently released the results of a new study that reveals signs of CTE in younger athletes. The study conducted brain autopsies on 152 athletes ranging in age from teens to their twenties who had died. Seventy percent of these athletes engaged in amateur sports where head contact is common, including football, ice hockey, rugby, and soccer. Only 30 percent played professionally.

The results of the study found that four in 10 had already developed early signs of CTE. More than 90 percent of the subjects were male. Six in ten had died by suicide, while 15 percent had died from accidental overdoses – two of the troubling issues that people who are found to have CTE struggle with.

Families of the subjects shared with researchers the following:

  • Six in 10 subjects exhibited behavioral control issues.

  • Six in 10 subjects had difficulty making decisions.

  • Four in 10 struggled with alcohol abuse.

  • Four in 10 struggled with drug abuse.

  • Seventy percent battled depression and apathy.

Contact a Lombard, IL Personal Injury Law Firm

The results of these studies are alarming. While not every brain injury will result in the person developing CTE, it is important to understand that a brain injury can have long-term or permanent consequences that can leave the person struggling with physical and emotional issues. If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury in an accident, call [[title]] at [[phone]] to schedule a free consultation with one of our dedicated Naperville, IL brain injury attorneys.