What is CTE in Football Players and How is it Linked to Concussions?

In recent years, the world of professional football has been rocked by a series of high-profile suicides of players and former players. Many of these deaths are linked to CTE in football players.

CTE is Chronic traumatic encephalopathy. It’s a serious brain disease resulting from concussions.

The strength of the link between CTE in football players and their deaths is staggering.  The disease was discovered in 99 percent of deceased NFL players’ brains that were donated to scientific research, according to a study published in the medical journal JAMA.

CTE is a neurodegenerative brain disease. Scientists discovered it in players exposed to repeated head trauma. The disease, CNN reports, is marked by a buildup of abnormal tau protein in part of the player’s brain that can disable neuropathways.

It’s linked to a range of clinical symptoms believed to make sufferers violent or suicidal. They include memory loss, impaired judgment, confusion, violence and aggression, depression, anxiety, impulse control problems and sometimes suicidal behavior.

CTE in football players

Explaining CTE in football players

The JAMA study was published in the summer of 2017. It helped confirm some of the concerns of experts who have warned about the effects of head injuries in football.

Dr. Ann McKee, director of Boston University’s CTE Center and coauthor of the new study said:

“There’s no question that there’s a problem in football. That people who play football are at risk for this disease. And we urgently need to find answers for not just football players, but veterans and other individuals exposed to head trauma.”

Although the deaths of professional athletes made for lurid headlines, CTE is also linked to the deaths of college athletes.

Out of 202 football players whose brains were studied, a combination of high school, college and professional players, the disease was diagnosed in 177, according to the research. The disease was identified in 110 out of 111 deceased former NFL players.

The NFL has been accused in the past of dismissing concerns about concussions and allowing players to remain on the field.

Players who committed suicide included David Duerson, a former safety for the Chicago Bears, Phoenix Cardinals and New York Giants. Duerson received a string of awards but could not escape from depression and shot himself in 2011.

Aaron Hernandez, a former New England Patriots’ tight end who killed himself in jail where he was serving a murder sentence suffered from CTE, his lawyer later said.

CTE is a terrible disease that has led to lawsuits against the NFL. If you suffer a head injury in an accident or on the sports field, you should contact an experienced Georgia personal injury lawyer. Call The Law Office of Michael West at (404) 913-1529.