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What Is a CTE Brain Injury?

Colburn Law

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a brain disease that affects people who have suffered from repeated traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), particularly among people who play sports. CTE is a progressive disease and does result in death.

If you or a loved one suffered a CTE brain injury, you could experience serious physical, emotional, and financial hardships. Depending on the cause of the TBI, however, you may have options to pursue legal action.

Symptoms of CTE

Medical professionals have not yet identified specific symptoms of CTE. Many common signs of this condition are also related to other conditions. However, some of the signs that may be associated with CTE can be grouped into four categories: cognitive impairment; motor symptoms; mood disorders; and behavioral changes.

  • Cognitive Impairment: Some people with CTE experience memory loss, difficulty thinking, and issues with executive function, like organization and planning.
  • Motor Symptoms: Experts have identified motor neuron disease and Parkinson’s disease in patients with proven CTE. 
  • Mood Disorders: Depression, emotional instability, and suicidal thoughts and behavior may occur in people with CTE. Substance abuse may also occur.
  • Behavioral Changes: Impulsive behavior and aggression may manifest in people with CTE.

What Causes CTE?

Many studies have linked repeated traumatic brain damage to the cause of CTE. In many cases, athletes who play high-contact sports like hockey and football as well as military personnel who served in war zones have developed this condition. 

Additionally, people who have suffered physical abuse may develop CTE. If you have been involved in multiple accidents where your head was repeatedly injured, you may also be at risk of this condition. However, these studies are still in their early stages, and more information can come to light in the future.

What Is A CTE Brain Injury

Treatment Options for CTE Victims

There is no treatment for CTE. This progressive brain disease consistently becomes worse over time until the patient dies. The only approach to treating CTE is to prevent head injury and to seek treatment to manage the condition.

If you have suffered any type of traumatic brain damage, seek medical attention as quickly as possible. Speak to your doctor about symptom management and follow his or her orders on how to take care of the condition. 

Legal Options for CTE Victims

Many people develop CTE due to circumstances outside of their control. Student-athletes can play without the proper safety equipment and develop CTE after years of repeated trauma. Physical abuse can lead to this dangerous condition as well. If you or a loved one has developed CTE and believe that someone else’s actions are responsible, you could be eligible for legal action.

Depending on your circumstances, you could file a lawsuit against the person or organization that contributed to the condition. By filing a claim you could recover a settlement to pay for medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

However, CTE litigation is still in its early stages. It can be difficult to prove the nature of your injury and establish your right to compensation. In these situations, it is important to consult with an attorney who is working on CTE claims. Contact a CTE injury lawyer as soon as possible following the diagnosis to discuss your next steps.