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New study outlines link of brain injuries and contact sports

As many San Francisco residents know, football has taken a beating over the last year or two regarding player safety and brain injuries. More specifically, concussions have come to the forefront as an extremely dangerous injury — one that was merely shrugged off in the past.

However, there are even more alarming signs linking brain injuries to contact sports. And it is not the “big hit” or that one serious concussion that causes permanent damage to the brain; new studies show that repeated, smaller hits to the head over a period of time can cause a devastating condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

The problem with CTE is that no diagnostic measures currently exist for living patients. CTE can only be found after someone has died. Researchers, though, have outlined the erratic behavior CTE can cause in a person, and it follows a distinct four-stage process.

In the first stage, people suffer from a loss of attention and headaches; which is followed by short-term memory loss, depression and angry outbursts in stage two. Dysfunction and cognitive impairment are symptoms of stage three; and in the final stage, dementia and “difficulty finding words” are common.

So what does this have to do with your personal safety? Well, for one, it shows just how dangerous football is, and you should know this if you are a parent and have kids considering the sport.

On a more practical level, this story serves as a reminder that car accident victims can suffer brain injuries that cause debilitating side-effects. Are you going to get CTE from a single car accident? Of course not. But you may suffer from headaches, general pain and difficulty performing everyday activities like you did before the wreck. These conditions may go away quickly, or they may linger for many months.

That is why you need legal representation in the wake of a car accident. A civil lawsuit can earn you compensation to deal with these medical conditions.

Source: Reuters, “Study finds pattern in brain injuries linked to contact sports,” Scott Malone, Dec. 3, 2012

  • To learn more about this topic, please visit our San Francisco brain injury page.
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