Now that the Superbowl is over and the football season has ended, NFL players will enter the off-season, but high school and college athletes, as well as professional football players, will continue to train with the next season in mind. Now that years have passed since early studies on football, concussions, and the risks of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), it is a good time to reassess the risks of this contact sport.
A recent article in The New Yorker revisits the matter of football and concussions, and the possibility that playing tackle football could result in a devastating degenerative brain condition years down the road. Let me tell you more about the recent article. And as you consider the risks of contact sports, you should know that you may be able to file a claim for compensation if you or someone you loved sustained multiple brain injuries as a result of a sport or was diagnosed with CTE postmortem. Coaches, universities, team owners, and others owe a certain duty of care to athletes, and it is important to hold them accountable.
What We Know Now: CTE is Linked to Head Trauma
You may remember news about early reports about traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) being linked to the degenerative brain disease known as CTE. As the article points out, the earliest studies and reports came back in 2002, and the researchers behind those sports-related TBI studies were the major characters, so to speak, in the recent film Concussion (2015). Although many professional football players admit that they have heard of CTE and have some sense of the risks behind playing contact sports and taking repeated hits to the head, they continue to play anyway. Should high schools, universities, team owners, and the NFL be paying closer attention to these studies? Some commentators certainly think so.
According to the article, now that we are nearly 20 years beyond the earliest twentieth-century studies of CTE, we know that “the body of evidence linking head trauma to CTE is . . . damning.” Indeed, according to Bruce Miller, a neurologist at the University of California, San Francisco, “it’s like smoking and cancer.” Indeed, Miller emphasized, the link between football and long-term brain damage is “as clear as day.” Yet researchers still do not understand “the exact mechanisms through which repeated blows to the head result, decades later, in tau buildup and neurological symptoms.”
Some, But Not All, Football Players Will Develop CTE
We do know that some football players, after taking multiple hits to the head over the seasons, will develop CTE. Yet some football players will not develop this degenerative brain disease, and researchers cannot articulate precisely why that is the case. Moreover, researchers cannot pinpoint a clear number of athletes who are likely to develop CTE. TO be sure, “the prevalence of CTE in the pro-football population is unknown,” with estimates varying from anywhere to 2% to 15%. And researchers have not yet been able to articulate with certainty how many high school or college football players will be at risk of this devastating disease later in their lives, even if they never advance to the NFL.
In short, now that we have reached the year 2020, we know that concussions can result in CTE, yet there remains much research to be done.
Contact Me to Learn More About Filing a Brain Injury Claim
Depending upon your specific circumstances, you could be eligible to file a brain injury lawsuit. You should know that I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at 877.944.4373 to find out if you may be eligible to file a claim.