February 08, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- A tumble here. A concussion there. Many athletes view these events -- and any resulting injuries -- as just part of the game. But head injuries can be very serious, especially for people who are not athletes. A recent study links repetitive head injuries to a degenerative brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.
Details of the study
The four-year study conducted by researchers at Boston University examined the autopsy results of 85 men, many of whom were athletes who had played such sports as football, boxing and hockey. Veterans were also included in the study.
The study revealed evidence of CTE in 68 of the 85 cases. The majority of those cases were athletes. The disorder was evident among professional football players -- especially tight ends, running backs and linemen -- with CTE discovered in 33 out of the 34 NFL players studied.
The study provides valuable information about CTE, but researchers hope to eventually conduct tests on living athletes to expand their knowledge of the disorder.
Information about CTE
In spite of sporadic reporting, CTE as a degenerative brain disease was first identified in the 1920s. The Boston University study is significant because it brings more attention to the dangerous impact of CTE.
CTE is not caused by one major blow or impact to the head, but by repetitive impacts to the head over time. It is not necessary for each head injury to be severe or rise to the level of a concussion in order for CTE to develop. If left untreated, or the patient experiences repeated brain trauma, the disorder can eventually affect nearly the entire brain.
Head traumas require a thorough diagnosis
A brain injury
is often referred to as an "invisible injury" because it is extremely difficult to diagnose and treat. Emergency room doctors, neurologists and neuropsychologists are most qualified to diagnose a brain injury.
In the initial stages of a brain injury, the focus is on such common physical symptoms as swelling and bleeding in the brain. However, when physical effects of the injury are not readily apparent, numerous tests are performed to assist with a thorough diagnosis. Typical procedures include:
- CAT scans
Other tests involving simple tasks that measure the victim's memory, speech and movement are also administered. These procedures and tests help determine appropriate treatment.
Often, a brain injury is first treated by simply resting both the body and the brain. If the brain does not heal, though, medicine or surgery may be necessary to treat the injury.
Treatment of a moderate to severe brain injury is extremely complex and often involves an entire network of supportive individuals. For example, because a brain injury can affect thought patterns and behavior, a psychiatrist or social worker may be brought in to assist the victim with mental rehabilitation.
Head traumas require thorough diagnosis
A brain injury is devastating and often causes physical, emotional and financial stress to the patient and his or her loved ones. The fact that insurance does not always cover the long-term medical care required after a brain injury can add to an already stressful situation. An experienced personal injury attorney can offer peace of mind through valuable guidance and assistance in obtaining maximum compensation from those responsible for the injury.
Article provided by The Huver Law Firm
Visit us at www.huverlaw.com