Brain Trauma: Is It Easier For Some Athletes To Suffer Brain Damage?

While the Landau Law Shop is currently helping several victims of traumatic brain injury and we are once again sponsoring the Brain Injury Association‘s road runs at the end of the month, a recent radio news story caught head injury lawyer Landau’s attention. “Is It Easier For Some Athletes To Suffer Brain Damage?” is the premise, and the coverage centered on professional football players and head trauma.

According to the news report, an autopsy has shown that Chris Henry, the young Cincinnati Bengal who died a few months ago, suffered what is called CTE –– chronic traumatic encephalopathy –– which means, more simply, that his brain had been traumatized.

CTE can be diagnosed only in the brain tissue of cadavers, and 22 deceased former NFL players have been identified as having had it. Studies also show that elderly men who played football have four times the rate of dementia as do other U.S. males.

What makes the Henry case so frightening, however, is that he is the first current player to be diagnosed with CTE — and his case is even more of a concern because it doesn’t seem that he suffered any serious concussions. How easy might it be for certain athletes to have their brains damaged?

Not just football players either. Studies by the American Academy of Pediatrics have shown that girls get concussions on the soccer field at much the same rate as boys do playing football. One cannot watch the World Cup, where players slug balls 60 sixty miles an hour with their heads — not to mention banging into opponents’ heads — without thinking that the world’s finest soccer athletes must surely be at the same risk of CTE as NFL players.

Jim Joyce was himself a football player. He got concussions of his own and also remembers laughing at befuddled teammates when they got, in the vernacular, “dinged.” It was all a joke then, all part of being a tough guy on the gridiron. READ THE REST OF THE STORY

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