NFL Brain Injury Update: CTE More Common than Originally Thought

Virginia personal injury cases can be brought any time one party violates a duty of care owed to another party. In sports injury cases, injured players may be able to hold a league or school responsible if the risks of participation in the sport were not adequately disclosed. This is because professional sports leagues as well as schools have a duty to disclose the risks of participation in sports or activities.

Over the past several years, football players have been diagnosed with the brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in startling numbers. While the National Football League (NFL) has long battled current and former players’ claims that participation in the league too often results in serious and irreversible consequences, the discovery and diagnosis of CTE provides a scientific basis for the players’ claims.

What Is CTE?

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a brain disease that can be caused by repeated blows to the head, often like those experienced in high-contact sports like football, rugby, hockey, and soccer. Symptoms of CTE include cognitive impairment, depression, impulsive behavior, memory loss, emotional instability, substance abuse, and suicidal thoughts or actions. Currently, CTE can only be diagnosed after death.

The Results of a Recent Study

According to a recent news report, CTE is much more common than researchers originally believed. The study included 202 former football players across all levels of the sport. The study determined the prevalence of CTE for each level:

  • 3/14 high school players;
  • 48/53 college players;
  • 9/14 semi-professional players;
  • 110/111 NFL players.

In all, 177 out of 202 players had CTE when examined.

The chief researcher cautioned readers that the study, while the largest yet, was still of a limited sample size. Furthermore, since CTE can only be diagnosed after death, the study only involved players whose families volunteered them for the study. This potentially could mean that the sample was biased because only the families who thought there may be an issue with their loved one volunteered them for the study. Despite this, the chief researcher told reporters that “we’re seeing [CTE] in a very large number that participated in football for many years. So while we don’t know the exact risk and we don’t know the exact number, we know this is a problem in football.”

Have You Suffered a Serious Sports Injury?

If you or a loved one has recently suffered a serious sports injury while playing at any level, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. While players will not be compensated for all sports injuries, if proper precautions were not taken to prevent an injury, or if players were not made aware of the substantial risks of participation, liability may be appropriate. To learn more about Virginia brain injury cases, and to speak with a dedicated personal injury attorney about your case, call 704-491-7070 to schedule a free consultation with Attorney Sidney Schupak. Sidney Schupak has extensive experience handling a wide range of Virginia personal injury cases and knows what it takes to be successful on behalf of his clients.

See More Blog Posts:

Summary Judgment in Virginia Personal Injury Cases, Virginia Injury Lawyers Blog, July 5, 2017.

Court Determines Accumulated Rainfall May Constitute Dangerous Condition, Depending on Surrounding Circumstances, Virginia Injury Lawyers Blog, June 26, 2017.

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