Football Players at Risk for Traumatic Brain Injury
Football can be a dangerous sport, even for players who do not sustain serious injuries on the field. Recently, more research has come to light on the link between football and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a disease resulting from repeated injuries to the head—an experience common among football players.
Lawsuits against Football Leagues
A number of lawsuits have been brought against football leagues by former and current players. In general, the lawsuits concentrate on the allegation that the league was aware of the risks caused by head injuries and that the league hid the dangers or did not fully disclose them to players. The lawsuits also argue that the NFL failed to properly supervise, regulate, and monitor activities to minimize the risk of injury to players. Some players have also argued that the league pushed injured players back into the game.
Some players allege that they have suffered from numerous health issues as a result, including dementia, depression, and Alzheimer’s. Families have even brought claims on behalf of players who have committed suicide.
Recent Study Finds 40% of Retired NFL Players Showed Signs of Brain Injury
Researchers in Florida recently conducted a study to assess the prevalence of brain injury among retired NFL players. According to one news source, over 40 percent of retired players showed signs of traumatic brain injury. The research was authored by a physician at the Florida Center for Headache and Sports Neurology and the Florida State University College of Medicine. It was one of the largest studies examining scans of former players.
The study looked at the sensitive MRI scans, known as diffusion tensor imaging, of 40 retired football players. Medical researchers also conducted thinking and memory tests on the players. The players’ ages ranged from 27 to 56, and most had retired in the last five years. The players had experienced an average of 8.1 concussions overall. Also, 31 percent of the players reported having several sub-concussive hits—hits considered below the threshold for a diagnosed concussion.
The study found that traumatic brain injury was significantly more prevalent among the retired players than the general population. Some 43 percent of the players demonstrated brain damage, showing levels of brain connectivity 2.5 standard deviations below those of healthy people the same age. In addition, around 50 percent of the players had significant problems in executive function on the tests evaluating thinking skills. About 45 percent showed significant problems in learning or memory, 24 percent in spatial and perceptual function, and 42 percent in attention and concentration.
The study was one of the first to show significant objective evidence of traumatic brain injury in retired players. The study also found that the longer a player spent in the NFL, the more likely it was that the player showed signs of traumatic brain injury on the sensitive MRI scans.
Have You Been Injured While Playing Football?
If you have played football, even if you do not think you sustained a concussion, you may be able to bring a claim as a result of traumatic brain injury. If you have been injured, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to learn more about your options. The skilled attorneys at Moll Law Group are available to help you file your claim in order to seek the compensation you deserve. To speak with a dedicated personal injury attorney, fill out our consultation form or call us at 312-462-1700 to arrange a free initial consultation.
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