Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative disease that affects the brains of people who have suffered repeated concussions and traumatic brain injuries, such as athletes who participate in contact sports. CTE is not just about concussions – many researchers believe the condition is a result of repeated hits to the head. Each time the player’s head is impacted, it shakes the brain inside the skull, building up the abnormal tau protein.
CTE brain damage persists for years after traumatic impacts to the cranium. The brain of an individual who suffers from chronic traumatic encephalopathy deteriorates and loses mass. Certain areas of the brain are particularly liable to atrophy. No one knows how prevalent CTE is or who will get it. Boston University researchers found that 96% of ex-NFL players suffer from the disease.
The Four Stages of CTE
- No Symptoms. The tau protein forms and builds up around blood vessels in the brain, mostly around the frontal lobe.
- Rage, Impulsivity, and Depression. Symptoms begin to appear as more and more nerve cells are affected in the brain.
- Confusion and Memory Loss. CTE begins to affect the amygdala and hippocampus, moving from the frontal section of the brain to the temporal, and impairing emotion and memory.
- Advanced Dementia. Tau deposits overwhelm the brain, killing many nerve cells and shrinking the brain by half of its size. The brain becomes deformed and brittle and cognitive function is severely limited.
There is no known cure for CTE. The condition has only been diagnosed in brains that have been donated after death, as there is no way currently to diagnose it in a living person.
NCAA Football Concussion Injury Lawyers
The trial lawyers of Raizner Slania have represented clients not only across the United States, but also internationally. Our team is leading the college football concussion lawsuits, helping college athletes around the nation recover damages for head injuries suffered during sports play. If you or someone you know played football in college and suffered from ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, contact us today for a confidential free consultation.