Serious Concussions Can Lead to a Terrible Alzheimer’s-like Disease
Concussions are a stressful injury that can cause a lifetime of symptoms and even death. Several concussions can lead to a disease cause CTE or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. Over the last couple of years, concussions have been a hot debate among the sports community. Some of the discussion includes coaches not reporting a head injury, athletes ignoring a head injury because they didn’t want to sit out of the game, or concussions going undiagnosed.
The Problem with Your Skull
The issue with the human brain that it is pretty much designed for concussions. The design flaw is the space between our brain and our skull. For humans, the space is bigger than other animals. The human skull is not made for hard hits. Upon impact, the brain is able to bounce around in the skull, becoming damaged. And it does’t take much of a hit to to cause damage. Chad Hollingsworth, CEO OF Triax, a sensor technology company, measured the impact of a 15 year-old soccer player taking a head shot from a soccer ball. The player took a goal kick to the head from half field. The athlete was wearing a new Triax headband device that measures the force of an impact to a person’s head. The force with which the player was hit was comparable to a Division 1 football player hitting a line backer. That is a significant hit for a soccer player who wears little protection.
What is CTE?
If a person gets concussions often, or the injuries go undiagnosed, they could develop CTE. Like Alzheimer’s disease, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is a progressive degenerative disease in the brain. It is a new disease. It was only discovered around 10-15 years ago. Symptoms of CTE include memory loss, mood swings, and difficulty concentrating. It is possible that CTE could progress into Dementia, or even cause the person to have thoughts of suicide. Scientists think that age and genetics play a role in developing CTE. Some athletes can go all their lives without side effects from multiple head injuries. Whereas in other people, CTE may develop early. CTE can only be diagnosed after death. Therefore concussion prevention, diagnoses, and treatment are essential.
However, scientists are developing different methods to help prevent concussions and also measure the force of the impact. One of the devices is like a band for the neck, created by Performance Sports Group. The neck band sits on certain pressure points in the neck and causes blood to stay in head. Thus creating a tighter space in the cranium. The tighter the space the less likely it it the brain will bounce around and get a concussion.
The second kind of device measures the force of the impact to the person. There is one that’s worn like a headband, like the Triax brand. It can be worn for sports with or without helmets. The other type of device is measures an athlete’s impact through their mouth guard. A sensor in the mouth guard relays back to a mobile device, like cell phone or a table. When a player starts running faster, the sensor will communicate with its home base. So when the acceleration stops abruptly, the force of the impact it measured. If it is outside of a safe range, then the player can be removed from the game and given proper medical attention. These kind of advances in technology can help us recognize a concussion right away, even if the player doesn’t have any of the symptoms.
It is important to be able to recognize a concussion. Below is list of physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms to be aware of if you or someone you know recently had a head injury.
- Physical Symptoms
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Numbness in the arms
- Cognitive Symptoms
- Difficulty thinking
- Unable to concentrate
- Emotional Symptoms
- Sleep disturbances
Head Injury? Contact Us
Contact the attorneys at Lowenthal and Abrams if you or a loved one recently suffered a serious head injury as a result of someone else’s negligence. Brain injuries can have a huge impact on someone. Don’t pay for someone else’s mistake. Let our personal injury attorneys fight for you. Fill out our free evaluation form to see if you have a case.