Traumatic Brain Injuries and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
New research has shed light onto the long-term effects of concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and the results are not encouraging. Those who suffer traumatic brain injuries and concussions can experience both short- and long-term symptoms and impairment. In fact, nearly all individuals who suffer a severe traumatic brain injury and a significant portion of those who suffer moderate TBIs will have long-term consequences, disability, or impairment as a result of the TBI. These consequences can include a condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
What is CTE and What are its Symptoms?
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a condition discovered in 2002 that involves damage to the brain that remains over the course of years (or decades) and causes deterioration of the brain over time. CTE used to be known as “dementia pugilistica” and was thought to be a condition that affected mainly boxers that suffered concussions and repeated blows to the head over a long period of time. It is now known that anyone who suffers repeated blows to the head, including other athletes, members of the military, and others, is at risk of developing CTE.
Symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy can develop over time and include:
- Memory loss;
- Impulsive or erratic behavior;
- Impaired judgment;
- Aggressive or impulsive behavior;
- Difficulty maintaining one’s balance; and/or
Over time, symptoms of CTE may resemble symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. These symptoms can have a seriously negative impact on the victim’s quality of life and the quality of life of his or her family. In addition to the symptoms listed above, long-term symptoms of CTE can include difficulty standing or walking, difficulty in thinking, sleep disturbances, impaired speech, a blank stare, and/or depression. Individuals with CTE have brains that may have some parts enlarged and/or smaller than a normal, healthy individual’s brain.
Can CTE Be Diagnosed and Prevented?
At present there are no standardized tests or diagnostic tools that are routinely used to detect CTE in a patient while the patient is alive. In other words, all or nearly all of the individuals who have been diagnosed with CTE have had the diagnosis made during a post-mortem examination of their brains. Medical centers and research facilities around the country are striving to find a way to diagnose CTE in individuals while they are still living.
Because of the difficulty in diagnosing CTE in living patients, it is difficult to recommend a specific treatment protocol to prevent CTE from developing or worsening. However, there are things individuals can do in the aftermath of a concussion or TBI that can help minimize long-term effects. These include:
- Seeking immediate medical care whenever a TBI is suspected, but especially if the victim loses consciousness as a result of the TBI;
- Following all treatment recommendations of your doctor, including any work, school, and/or work restrictions imposed by your doctor;
- Gradually returning to strenuous activities. This includes refusing to return or allow the TBI victim to return to contact sports like football or soccer until the TBI has healed and the TBI victim is no longer experiencing symptoms.
Call For Your Free Consultation With a Sacramento Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer, and if your child has suffered a TBI as a result of another person’s careless or negligent actions, I want to fight for you to recover compensation to help you pay for your child’s medical needs. I’ve been helping California parents whose children suffer TBIs through the negligence of others recover financial compensation for years. Call me at (916) 921-6400 for free, friendly advice. Outside Sacramento call 800-404-5400. Read more about us on our website, http://www.AutoAccident.com.
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