Some Seattle Seahawks fans have heard about a recent study released by PBS concerning degenerative brain disease in football players. The study shows that 96 percent of the deceased players whose brains were studied suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy during their lifetimes. The results could serve to heighten concerns about the well-being of currently active players.
Obtaining samples to test for CTE is complicated by the fact that it can only be conclusively diagnosed after death. Players themselves, suspecting they suffer from CTE, are often the ones to donate their brains for posthumous diagnosis. In addition to the NFL players tested, the study also found signs of serious brain injury in 79 percent of athletes at all levels of football, including high school and college-age players, who were studied.
According to the director of neuropathology at the VA Boston Healthcare System, the results are unsurprising given the evidence that links football play to brain traumas. Some players, citing health concerns related to CTE, are reported to have declined lucrative contracts from the NFL, and the NFL itself has already agreed to settle for $765 million with families of players with CTE claims. NFL representatives say that they are committed to making the sport safer for players.
Although this report concerns football athletes, people of all backgrounds can potentially experience CTE, the causes of which include repetitive head trauma. Individuals suffering from such injuries because of another’s negligence may be eligible to receive compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages and other damages through a personal injury lawsuit filed with the assistance of an attorney.