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What Are the Symptoms of a CTE Brain Injury?
Posted in Brain Injury on March 12, 2023
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a degenerative brain disease that is caused by repeated head trauma. Commonly associated with athletes and military personnel, CTE can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life, affecting his or her cognitive and emotional functioning.
However, the symptoms of CTE can be subtle and difficult to detect, making it challenging to diagnose the condition in its early stages. If you notice any changes in your behavior or cognitive functioning or experience any type of head trauma, it is critical to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
What Causes CTE Brain Injuries?
Repetitive head trauma is a key factor in the development of CTE, with studies focusing on football and ice hockey players, as well as military personnel in war zones. However, other sports and prolonged physical abuse can also result in this type of injury. CTE is likely linked to head traumas that occur earlier in life, such as persistent post-concussive symptoms and second impact syndrome. Despite increased awareness, CTE remains a rare disorder that is not yet fully understood and can only be diagnosed by examining sections of the brain during an autopsy.
Warning Signs of CTE
There are no definitive symptoms directly linked to CTE and many of the signs associated with the condition can also be seen in other head injuries. In proven cases of CTE, the following cognitive, behavioral, mood, and motor changes have been observed:
- Difficulty thinking
- Memory loss
- Suicidal thoughts or behavior
- Impulsive behavior
- Substance abuse
- Parkinson’s disease
- Depression or apathy
- Emotional instability
- Motor neuron disease
- Problems with executive function
Symptoms of CTE may develop years or even decades after repeated head trauma. Currently, experts believe that CTE symptoms appear in two forms, with the first form causing mental health and behavioral issues when a person reaches his or her late 20s or early 30s. The second form of CTE is associated with memory and thinking problems that progress to dementia, which generally occurs around age 60.
When to See a Doctor for CTE
While the symptoms of CTE can be subtle and difficult to detect, it’s important to see a doctor if you have concerns about your memory or experience any other cognitive or behavioral problems. These symptoms may not necessarily indicate CTE, but they could be caused by other head injuries that require medical attention. If you experience any type of head injury, go to the doctor as soon as possible.
Those with CTE may be at an increased risk of suicide, so if you have thoughts of hurting yourself, seek help immediately by calling 911 or your local emergency number, or contact a suicide hotline. In the United States, you can call or text 988 to reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline or use the Lifeline Chat online.
Your Legal Options After a TBI Diagnosis
Traumatic brain injuries, such as those that can lead to CTE, are often caused by the negligent actions of another person or entity. If you are diagnosed with a TBI, you may have the right to seek legal action. By filing a personal injury lawsuit, you can recover financial compensation to help pay for medical care, lost wages, and other damages.
In these situations, a personal injury lawyer can represent your case and help you seek justice. After seeking medical attention, contact a Washington TBI attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case and plan your next steps.