What is CTE?

What is CTE?

June 15, 2022Personal Injury

When a person suffers repeated concussions, the trauma can lead to a severe long-term condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a degenerative disease that causes brain inflammation, and unfortunately, it can only be diagnosed at autopsy. As a result, experts are still trying to understand the extent of its repercussions, but it is associated with post-concussive syndrome, second impact syndrome, and the development of dementia. 

Symptoms of CTE

Specific symptoms have not been concretely linked to CTE, but some of the possible ones include: 

  • Cognitive Impairment
    • Difficulty thinking (cognitive impairment)
    • Memory loss
    • Problems with planning, organization, and carrying out tasks (executive function)
  • Behavioral Changes
    • Impulsive behavior
    • Aggression
  • Mood Disorders
    • Depression or apathy
    • Emotional instability
    • Substance misuse
    • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • Motor Symptoms
    • Parkinsonism
    • Motor neuron disease

Experts believe that CTE symptoms develop over years or even decades rather than showing up immediately after multiple brain injuries. However, it is believed that CTE will first be exhibited as mental health and behavioral issues such as depression, anxiety, aggression, or impulsivity when the victim is in their late 20s and early 30s. In its second form, CTE will likely cause symptoms such as memory and thinking problems around age 60 and can progress into dementia. 

Who Is at Risk for CTE?

CTE is most commonly talked about in relation to contact sports, such as football, but it can occur in anyone who has suffered repetitive hits to the head. Those who are at the highest risk of suffering multiple head traumas include: 

Athletes in Contact Sports

Any high-contact sport carries the risk of head injuries, such as football, boxing, hockey, soccer, rugby, lacrosse, water polo, skiing, snowboarding, basketball, etc. 

Members of the Military

Some military service members are exposed to explosions during combat or training exercises. As a result, they can either be thrown into an object or may suffer a blow to the head from debris. 

Abusive Relationships

Women, children, and men can suffer an intentional blow to the head in a domestic violence dispute. Additionally, babies that are shaken can also suffer from CTE later in life. 

Accidental Falls

Unintentional falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in the United States. 

How Can an Attorney Help if I Think I Have CTE? 

Although CTE can only be diagnosed after death, it is caused by multiple head injuries, and traumatic brain injuries can be diagnosed. As a result, if you suffered a TBI or several due to another party’s negligence, you have the right to hold them accountable for your injury and any related losses. TBIs and especially CTE, can be debilitating.

With the experience and resources of a St. Louis Brain Injury Attorney, they can help you determine which parties are liable and gather the evidence you need to support your claim. They will also handle all communication and negotiations with the insurance companies involved so that you may focus on your health while they recover fair compensation on your behalf. 

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