American football is apparently much more dangerous than previously thought. According to new study on the brains of deceased NFL players, researchers have found many suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a mental condition linked with volatile mood changes and depression.
According to experts in personal injury Longview Texas, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (or CTE) is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in people who have suffered severe head injuries. Since the 1920s, the condition has been known to affect athletes who compete in contact sports, especially boxers, since the 1920s.
Symptoms of the CTE include: memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, impulse control problems, aggression, depression, and, eventually, dementia. These symptoms can occur after few months or even years after the original head injury.
In the study, which was published in the journal Brain, researchers from Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy and the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System examined the brains of 85 people that included 64 athletes and 21 war veterans whose bodies were donated by their families.
After reviewing the results, researchers found that 68 study subjects had signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Among the 64 athletes in the study group, 34 were former professional football players; six of them had played football only at school while nine had played football in college.
CTE was also found in people who had played hockey or were professional or amateur boxers or wrestlers. The disease also affected marines, soldiers and veterans who had served in the wars in Vietnam, Gulf or Afghanistan.
“Every time something like (a suicide) happens, I do worry about status of an individual’s brain because brain trauma can change people,” Chris Nowinski, co-director of the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CSTE, at the Boston University School of Medicine, told CNN.
Seventeen cases of the head trauma that were examined in the study showed no signs of CTE. Researchers say that not all head trauma gives rise to CTE. According to pain management Tyler Texas, other studies have shown contact sports make up nearly 10 percent of head and spine related injuries.