What is CTE?

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, also known as CTE, is a rare but serious condition. CTE is caused by repetitive head trauma. CTE can lead to a mental decline that seriously reduces one’s quality of life. 

In this guide, we’ll cover some of the important questions surrounding CTE.

What is Known About CTE?

CTE is a relatively new discovery. Medical professionals discovered a correlation between declining brain function and individuals who are involved in contact sports and other activities that are likely to involve repeated head trauma.

Researchers have found that a particular protein in one part of the brain first begins to malfunction, with the effect slowly spreading to other areas of the brain. 

The only way to conclusively diagnose CTE is to examine the brain tissue after death. Because there is no way to positively confirm the presence of the condition, a CTE diagnosis is made based on a combination of factors. 

For instance, CTE might be assumed to be the cause of declining mental function if an individual has a history of repeated head trauma. 

Who is at Risk for CTE?

The average person is unlikely to develop CTE. Typically, the condition is found in people who engage in activities that are likely to lead to brain injuries, such as:

  • Athletes who play contact sports
  • Veterans 
  • Individuals with epilepsy

CTE does not usually appear until later in life, years after the initial period of trauma. 

Athletes who participate in contact sports have a high likelihood of repeatedly receiving trauma to the head.

Other groups that are susceptible to CTE include veterans, individuals with epilepsy, and those who have medical conditions that frequently result in falling or hitting their heads. 

In these groups, personal experiences are likely to vary widely. Not every veteran or individual with epilepsy is at risk for developing the condition. 

What Are the Signs of CTE?

If a history of head trauma is present, a CTE diagnosis can be made if certain symptoms of declining brain function or mental health are present. 

Brain Function 

Symptoms involving brain function include:

  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Slurred speech
  • Dementia

For conditions to be related to CTE, they cannot be isolated or periodic. There should be an evident and ongoing decline in mental function without improvement. 

Mental Health

In addition to brain function, CTE can be accompanied by mental health struggles. Someone with CTE may suffer from the following:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety 
  • Personality changes
  • Impulse control 
  • Aggression 
  • Suicidal thoughts

Considering the effects on brain function and mental health, CTE can result in huge personality changes, greatly impacting an individual’s relationships and quality of life. 

What Are the Treatment Options for CTE?

Currently, there is no cure for CTE. Doctors are still working to study and understand the condition. 

After a CTE diagnosis is made, treatment options are limited. They tend to focus solely on symptom management. Because memory issues are a chief feature of CTE, treatment might involve working with a memory clinic to mitigate the effects of memory loss.  

Can I Pursue Compensation for CTE?

Because CTE is a condition still being researched, there are fewer established precedents for cases related to CTE. 

The most notable case to date is a billion-dollar NFL settlement awarded to players and their families over claims of brain trauma. 

As part of the settlement, the concept of “living CTE” was put forward. This is a first step in awarding athletes and other individuals just compensation for the unique, life-altering effects of CTE.

Brain injuries and trauma can lead to debilitating and life-altering conditions. Reach out to a qualified legal professional if you believe that another party’s negligence played a role in your brain injury.

Contact Our Brain Injury Law Firm For Help Today

For more information, please contact Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free case evaluation today.

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