Ann McKee, neuropathologist and director of the Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Center at Boston University, studied the brains of 111 deceased NFL players to determine if there is a link between sports concussions and CTE, a degenerative brain disease. Of the 111 brains studied, 110 showed signs of CTE. That’s more than 99 percent.
CTE refers to brain degeneration that is most likely caused by multiple head traumas.. Each of the athletes whose brains were studied had sustained head trauma on multiple occasions. As such, they had all suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) during their time as football players. Although 99 percent of the brains studied showed signs of CTE, this does not translate to a more than 99 percent incidence of developing CTE among football players. A MA injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve suffered a TBI due to another’s negligence.
McKee emphasizes that her study was heavily biased; each brain was donated by families who suspected that their deceased loved one had displayed signs of CTE while alive. It was not a study comprised of a “random sample of N.F.L. retirees.” Even so, the fact that 110 of the 111 former players had developed CTE is cause for serious concern.
What is a TBI?
A TBI may occur when a blow, bump, or jolt to the head impairs or disrupts the brain’s normal function. These injuries can range from mild to severe, and complications can be short-term or permanent. Nearly 50,000 people die annually from TBI-related complications. A Boston TBI attorney can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence.
Sports-Related Brain Injury Facts and Statistics
According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS):
- Cycling accounts for the highest number of sports-related TBIs annually (nearly 20 percent).
- Football comes second, accounting for 10 percent of all reported brain injuries.
- Up to eight percent of all sports-related TBIs are due to injuries sustained during baseball and basketball.
- Other high-impact recreational sports and activities, such as jumping on a trampoline or riding a horse, can also cause TBIs.
- Between 2001 and 2012, emergency room visits for sports-related concussions more than doubled for children age 19 and younger.
Signs and Symptoms of TBIs
It’s important to understand that signs and symptoms of TBIs may not become apparent for days, weeks, or even months following a concussion or other form of TBI. If you sustained trauma to the head and notice any of the following signs or symptoms, contact your doctor immediately:
- Severe or chronic headache
- A sensation of pressure in the head
- Loss of consciousness, can be brief or prolonged
- Blurred vision
- Dilated or uneven pupils
- Disorientation or confusion
- Loss of balance or feeling “dizzy”
- Nausea or vomiting
- Ringing in the ears
- Difficulty concentrating
- Loss of memory (short or long-term)
- Slurred speech
- Drowsiness or fatigue
- Uncharacteristic agitation or irritability
- Other personality changes
- Extreme sensitivity to light and sound
- Trouble sleeping
- Strange taste in the mouth