In 2012, a study showed ALS (Lou Gehrig ’s disease) and Alzheimer’s Disease to be four times more common in former NFL players than the rest of the population.
Considering how much higher the chances are for these football players to get one of these brain diseases (along with the fact that they are constantly being slammed in the head), it cannot be a coincidence that they get ALS or Alzheimer’s more often; this fourfold increase in risk is not just happenstance.
This is a direct result of the constant hitting and tackling that all too often results in being struck in the head.
ALS and Alzheimer’s are not the only diseases that affect football players; Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is another disease that is problematic for footballers.
CTE is a degenerative brain disease that slowly debilitates the victim. CTE may initially present with motor weakness and muscle twitches but eventually people affected with CTE experience severe emotional and cognitive issues.
Currently, CTE is only diagnosable after death, but is it fairly easy to surmise as a person becomes less and less functional. Researchers have categorized CTE into four identifiable stages based on symptomology; below is a sample of some of the symptoms.
Long before the other, more obvious symptoms become apparent, a victim may have trouble with atrophy and motor weakness:
• Stage 1 – headaches and issues with attention begin to appear.
• Stage 2 – problems with depression and short-term memory start to arise.
• Stage 3 – cognitive problems with judgment and organization take effect.
• Stage 4 – the final stage, a victim of CTE will show “evidence of full-blown dementia.”
It is very important to ask this question: is the thrill of being under those Friday night lights for a few years worth losing the ability to think or function for the rest of your life?
As your Ohio brain injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus, Dayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.