Illinois and Other Researchers Identify Signs of Brain Damage in Living Former NFL Players

For the first time, researchers have reportedly identified signs of brain damage in living former National Football League (NFL) players. The research is currently being hailed as a positive step towards identifying Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in patients who have suffered a concussion or other head trauma. According to Dr. Julian Bailes, Co-Director of NorthShore Neurological Institute in Evanston and study Co-Author, the discovery may assist physicians with improving CTE treatment in the future.

As part of a study recently published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, brain scans were allegedly performed on five former NFL football players using a patented imaging tool. Each of the former players sustained at least one concussion during his football career. In addition, the age of the players ranged from 45 to 73. The scans reportedly revealed an abnormal protein that causes CTE existed in each player’s brain. The protein purportedly causes dementia, depression, and memory loss by strangling brain cells. Prior to the research study, CTE could only be identified post-mortem.

Dr. Gary W. Small, Lead Study Author and Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA, said the research may be used to identify preventative CTE treatments in the future. Although the results are only preliminary, researchers are hopeful that the information may be used to monitor current NFL players for signs of CTE before the disease takes hold. The tragic disease became highly publicized after the unfortunate suicide of former Chicago Bears defensive back Dave Duerson and others.

Although this research study focused on the effect of concussions received while playing professional football, many high school athletes also suffer dangerous head injuries. Since 2011, all school boards in Illinois must adopt a concussion policy that complies with Illinois High School Association (IHSA) guidelines. Additionally, the IHSA must provide all Illinois school districts with educational materials regarding the risks associated with head injuries in children. A school board’s current head injury policy must be provided in writing and signed by both parents and student athletes prior to participation in any school sporting event.

Even a mild concussion can cause lifelong injuries for your son or daughter. Traumatic brain injuries in children may be caused by unexpected accidents as well as sporting events. Head injuries often cause dizziness, headaches, confusion, double vision, and mood swings. The victim of a traumatic brain injury may be entitled to compensation for any resulting disability, the cost of their medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages. If your minor child suffered a preventable head injury, you should discuss your rights with a skilled personal injury attorney.

If your child was the victim of an unexpected head or other injury, please call Abels & Annes, P.C. at (312) 475-9596 today. Our hardworking Chicago Metro child injury lawyers are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week to help you file your case. For a free consultation with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer, do not hesitate to contact Abels & Annes, P.C. through the law firm’s website.

More Blogs:

Pedestrian Traffic Deaths in Chicago Spiked in 2012, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, January 28, 2013
Without the Help of an Accident Lawyer, Insurance Companies in Illinois Have the Upper Hand When Settling Personal Injury Claims, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, January 25, 2013
Additional Resources:

New Study Finds Brain Damage in Living Ex-NFL Players, by Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada,


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