In a study done by the Florida Center for Headache and Sports Neurology and Florida State University College of Medicine, it was found that over 40% of retired NFL players showed signs of traumatic brain injury. This may have been apparent, seeing as the National Football League admitted a link between concussions and TBI recently – however, the dangers exist and prevention is key to healthy lifestyles for those who have participated in the NFL.
Memory tests were done on 40 retired players who were aged 27 to 56. Researchers were able to find that players got 8.1 concussions in the lifetime of their careers, an astounding number that shows the dangers of sports in a whole new light. Researchers used MRI to look at the movement of water molecules in the brain tissue to show how healthy the brain’s white connective tissue was after years of abuse on the field. These results were compared to a healthy brain and what was found was alarming – the water moved much more slowly than it did in what was considered to be a healthy brain. Furthermore, it was found that a quarter of NFL players had issues processing space and perception, 42% had attention and concentration issues, and 45% had learning and memory problems. Along with this, there is a disturbingly high amount of players who have committed suicide after receiving a TBI.
TBI risks can be reduced, this much is true. However, Kathleen Bachynski of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health has said about the subject, “Even with the best helmet design, there’s no way to fully prevent against the risk of traumatic brain injury.” Ivy League schools have been taking measures into their own hands. Recently, they have eliminated full-contact tackling in practices to reduce exposure to these sometimes-horrendous and life-altering accidents.
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
Among many players in the NFL, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is a real fear. CTE is a progressive degenerative disease that occurs in people who have suffered repeated concussions and traumatic brain injuries. This is a condition of brain damage and can lead to very serious effects in previous NFL players that can debilitate them for a long time to come. These same victims may experience extreme loss of memory, difficulty controlling impulsive or erratic behavior, impaired judgment, or difficulty with balance. The problem is, many sports players go undiagnosed and live the rest of their lives dealing with the issues relating to CTE.
Serious Brain Injuries and Medical Evaluations
The point is: Many NFL players are not receiving the treatment they need for injuries that could cause them problems for the rest of their lives. These injuries should be taken more seriously than they are in current times. Medical evaluations after an accident can prove whether or not an injured person should participate in sports, what right they have to receive kinds of economic compensation for said injuries, whether or not independent living is possible, and what type of physical therapy may improve his or her health.
Furthermore, if you have been injured while playing sports of any kind and the accident was the fault of another person, you may be able to take up a negligence claim. You can find out more about TBIs and what you should do in the event of a serious accident by contacting an attorney who can help you out. At Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi we’re waiting to help you with your case!