What Is CTE?
Gregg Hollander | February 7, 2023 | Brain Injuries
CTE is a serious, debilitating brain disease. It’s most commonly seen in veterans and athletes who play contact sports, like football. CTE has been recognized as a brain disease only within the past two decades, and scientists are still working to learn more about why it happens and how to treat it.
If you or a loved one has ever been engaged in a profession or activity that involved ongoing head trauma or regular blows to the head, you should be aware of the possible risks and signs of CTE.
What Causes CTE?
CTE, formally known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, is a brain disease that develops in individuals who experience ongoing head trauma, usually over a period of years.
This is a serious and debilitating condition, but it impacts only a small portion of the overall population since the average person doesn’t routinely sustain blows to the head.
Individuals most at risk of developing CTE are military veterans and contact sports athletes.
Sports associated with confirmed cases of CTE include:
- Martial arts
A handful of cases have also been linked to basketball, baseball, domestic violence, and health conditions associated with head banging.
CTE occurs when a protein in the brain known as “tau” malfunctions, creating a chain reaction that slowly kills off brain cells. It typically takes years of head trauma to cause CTE, and the symptoms of the disease usually only begin to manifest later in life.
Common CTE Symptoms
It’s believed that CTE was initially identified in the 1920s as “punch drunk syndrome.” This term was used to describe boxers who developed conditions associated with alcohol intoxication, such as memory issues and aggressive behavior.
Some of the most common signs of CTE include:
- Memory loss
CTE is associated with the development of increasingly severe emotional symptoms, which can include impulse control issues and aggressive behavior. As the disease progresses, memory issues worsen, and it’s common for dementia to be the final stage of progression.
Getting Help With CTE
Since CTE impacts only a small percentage of the population, there are fewer opportunities to study how and why it develops. Currently, a CTE diagnosis can only be conclusively confirmed after death by examining a patient’s brain tissue.
If an individual is exhibiting symptoms of CTE and also has a history of military service, participation in contact sports, or some other situation that resulted in frequent head trauma, there’s a good chance that CTE is the reason behind the symptoms they’re experiencing.
If you suspect CTE, your first step should be to consult medical professionals. There’s currently no way to heal CTE or reverse its effects on brain tissue. Treatment at this point focuses on therapy and palliative care.
CTE is a tragic and life-altering condition that takes a serious toll on a person. As it progresses, CTE often has a steep financial price. The disease will eventually prevent the individual from working, and due to the high risk of dementia, the long-term cost of assisted living will likely be necessary for the remainder of a patient’s life.
Personal injury law allows injured victims to seek compensation from the responsible party. If CTE developed as a result of military service or as a member of a sports organization, a brain injury lawyer may be able to recover compensation to offset the costs of care and compensate you and your loved ones for the tragic impact on the victim’s quality of life.
Contact Our Brain Injury Law Firm in South Florida
If you’ve been injured in an accident, please contact our experienced brain injury lawyers in Florida at Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today. We have three convenient locations in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach.
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Boca Raton Law Office
7000 W Palmetto Park Rd #500
Boca Raton, FL 33433
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Fort Lauderdale Law Office
200 S.E. 6th Street #203
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – West Palm Beach Law Office
319 Clematis St #203
West Palm Beach, FL 33401