Does Traumatic Brain Injury Increase Suicide Risk?

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Ohio State football player Kosta Karageorge, who had a history of sports-related concussions, was recently found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. In his suicide note, he specifically noted that “concussions had messed up” his brain.

This month is Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month, and it is important to recognize just how deadly traumatic brain injuries can be. Concussions and repetitive head injury syndrome is dramatically affecting the lives of our country’s youth, college, and professional athletes among others.

Long term research has confirmed that concussions lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).  CTE is an incurable, degenerative disease found in people with a history of brain trauma. What is even more frightening is that suicide has been linked to CTE.

Kosta was not the first football player with a history of concussions and brain trauma to commit suicide. Eight more football players, all diagnosed with CTE,  have committed suicide:

Andre Waters – A safety who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cardinals for 11 years. Shot himself in the head November, 2006 at the age of 44.

Terry Long – An offensive lineman for the Steelers killed himself after drinking anti-freeze at the age of 45.

Shane Dronett – A defensive lineman in the NFL for 10 years was found dead of a self- inflicted gun shot wound to the head at age 48.

Ray Easterling – Played for the Falcons from 1972-1979. In 2011, he joined several NFL players in suit against the league over how it handled concussion related injuries. Easterly shot himself in April, 2012 at the age of 62.

Dave Duerson – A safety who played in the NFL for 10 years. Duerson shot himself in the chest after complaining for months of his deteriorating mental state. He left a note requesting that his brain be studied. He died at the age of 50.

Junior Seau – A linebacker in the NFL for nearly 20 years. Seau killed himself with a gunshot to the chest at age 43.

Jovan Belcher – A linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs, Chargers, Dolphins and Patriots. Belcher shot and killed himself and his girlfriend in 2011. He was just 25.

Paul Oliver – A safety who played for the San Diego Chargers for 4 years shot and killed himself in September, 2013 at the age of 29.

This list is startling evidence of the connection between CTE and suicide.

CTE is also linked to:

  • memory loss
  • impaired judgement
  • depression
  • aggression
  • Dementia

CTE can only be diagnosed after death, which makes it difficult to research the disease. A number of football players have donated their brains to science in hopes that more knowledge will prevent future deaths of the football players and other athletes.

If you or someone you love suffered a traumatic brain injury while playing football or as a results of an accident or other trauma, you need to call me right away at 1 (877) 944-4373 to schedule a FREE consultation to discuss your injury and whether it could have been prevented.  As your Personal injury lawyer , I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Summary
Article Name
Does Traumatic Brain Injury Increase Suicide Risk?
Description
The relationship between recurrent traumatic brain injury and suicide is startling. Many football players in particular, have succumb to suicide as a result of their chronic brain disease brought on by recurrent concussions. This article provides details of the association between suicide and traumatic brain injury.
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