Closed head injury, even inside a mild form, is a number one cause of both short-term as well as long-term cognitive impairment associated with athletes, particularly those in tough sports such as soccer, boxing, soccer, rugby, lacrosse and hockey.
While most athletes who experience a concussion can be expected to recover, the risks are increased by just a second concussion, or returning to play from a concussion.
Emerging evidence suggests that individuals who have knowledgeable repeated traumatic brain injuries (concussions) or multiple blows to the head without loss of consciousness, such as specialist athletes and combat veterans, have reached higher risk of developing CTE than people who have not experienced multiple brain injuries.
Harder helmets aren’t the solution
People like to indicate safer helmets as an answer, but helmets can’t do much to safeguard your brain from sub-concussive strikes.
CTE is not only about concussions
A concussion is really a brain injury that occurs from the blow to the brain. But it’s not just concussions which have researchers worried. Most scientists believe that CTE is because of repeated, or sub-concussive, hits to the head. The concern is that every time the head encounters a pounding, it shakes the brain inside the skull. All that sloshing around can result in a buildup of a abnormal protein called tau, which could take over parts from the brain.
Who need to be worried about CTE
Football players are not the only ones who should be concerned. The condition has been diagnosed within soccer and baseball gamers, and even within military veterans.
There is no way to diagnose this in living people. The only method to diagnose is by autopsy. However, researchers hope when they can identify this in living people, it will put them a step closer to understanding how the disease progresses and in turn leads them to a possible cure.