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Brain Disease CTE Found in 96% of Retired NFL Players Tested

Every Sunday, millions of Americans sit around TV’s to watch their favorite NFL team. While we may cheer and see our favorite players stand up again and again after they are repeatedly tackled to the ground, very few of us are aware of the physical demands of football. Padding and helmets may help soften the blow of hits and tackles, but this intense physical contact can result in considerable harm to players, even after their football-playing days are over.

A recent study found that 87 out of 91 former NFL players tested positive for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain disease caused by repetitive trauma to the head. CTE can lead to conditions such as memory loss, depression, and aggression. While the conditions caused by CTE can greatly reduce a person’s quality of life, the disease itself cannot be diagnosed until after death.

CTE affects more than just professional NFL players. The disease has also been found in individuals who played football semi-professionally, or in college or high school. In total, CTE was found in close to 80% of former football players.

While violent, concussion-causing collisions that occur during a football game usually get more attention from the media, repetitive minor head trauma that occurs regularly throughout a game may be more harmful in the long-run. 40% of players in the study were offensive and defensive linemen who rarely experience major head injuries, but rather repetitive minor head trauma during each game. Players who frequently experience these less severe but continual bumps to the head may be at higher risk for CTE.

This news comes five months after a settlement between the NFL and thousands of former players, allowing for each player to be awarded up to $5 million for medical conditions caused by head trauma. In recent years, the NFL has designed new laws to reduce the amount of head injuries, but many still question whether the NFL is doing enough to prevent these types of injuries. As researchers learn more about the effects of head trauma caused by contact sports and football in particular, the NFL said that they “will continue to make improvements” regarding the game and players safety.

Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys in PA and NJ

At Kane & Silverman, we encourage research on traumatic brain injuries. We hope that by learning more about the causes and effects of traumatic brain injury, there will be less suffering in the future. Head trauma can have serious, life-altering consequences for the victim and we want to limit this as much as possible. It is important to take safety measures to lessen the extent of these injuries. But in the unfortunate event that you or a loved one has suffered from a traumatic brain injury, the lawyers at Kane & Silverman can help. Contact us for an evaluation of your claim.