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Advancements in football head trauma may change game

Last week in this Michigan personal injury law blog, we wrote about the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Junior Seau, an NFL player who killed himself in the spring. It has been revealed the Seau suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a brain disease caused by repeated blows to the head, and his family sued the football league and the Riddell helmet manufacturer, accusing them of negligence.

This lawsuit is among almost 4,000 others filed by or on behalf of NFL players accusing the NFL of ignoring and hiding information of the risks of suffering a traumatic brain injury due to football. Now that the Super Bowl is almost here, another major story has broken about CTE. Researchers have determined that it is possible to detect CTE in living patients, not only after death as has previously been done.

This breakthrough means that it may be possible for NFL players and others to be examined for CTE. It is possible that many football players would be interested in being evaluated as CTE has already been linked to the suicides of four former NFL players.

CTE is a degenerative brain disease that has been known to cause symptoms similar to Alzheimer's, as well as aggressive behavior and depression. Scientists and doctors believe that CTE is caused by chronic hits to the head, however it is not known how many blows have to be sustained before the disease develops. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that sports-related concussions have reached the level of an epidemic in this country.

Information about CTE and the NFL's knowledge of brain trauma risks continue to come out. As more research takes place, many wonder whether any changes will happen in professional football in order to prevent brain injuries.

Source: NJ.com, "Advancements in head trauma research could be true game changer," Dave D'Alessandro, Jan. 27, 2013

  • Our law firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan, helps victims of traumatic brain injuries recover compensation for their injuries. This may include compensation for medical and rehabilitative expenses, lost income and other effects of a brain injury.

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