Understanding Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE): Causes and Symptoms

Understanding Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE): Causes and Symptoms

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) has become a significant concern in recent years. Many athletes and military veterans with repetitive brain trauma are diagnosed with CTE. This degenerative brain disease has garnered attention due to its devastating effects on individuals’ lives. 

Here, we have organized the key aspects of CTE, including its history, symptoms, and what causes it. 

A Brief History of CTE

CTE’s history traces back to 1928. Dr. Harrison Martland first identified a group of boxers with “punch drunk syndrome.” Over the following decades, similar findings emerged in individuals with a history of brain trauma, though fewer than 50 cases were confirmed. 

It wasn’t until 2005 that pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu published evidence of CTE in an American football player, Mike Webster. This discovery marked a turning point. Soon after, the Concussion Legacy Foundation and the UNITE Brain Bank were established.

Symptoms of CTE

CTE is a complex condition. Various symptoms can manifest differently in affected individuals. Here are some of the most reported symptoms:

1. Mood and Behavior Symptoms

CTE can manifest in various ways, including through mood and behavior symptoms. 

Here are some common indicators to be aware of:

  • Impulse control problems
  • Aggression
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety

While these symptoms have been associated with CTE, they can also be caused by other factors, such as concussions or unrelated conditions. If you or a loved one experience these symptoms, seeking medical evaluation and support is crucial.

2. Cognitive Symptoms

Cognitive symptoms associated with CTE can profoundly impact an individual’s life. These symptoms often develop later in life, typically in one’s 60s or 70s. 

Here are some key cognitive signs to watch for:

  • Executive function problems
  • Impaired judgment
  • Short-term memory issues
  • Dementia

Some patients may experience mood and mental symptoms, while others may exhibit one cluster of symptoms. It’s important to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

3. Sleep Symptoms

Research suggests a link between CTE and sleep problems, specifically those associated with REM behavior disorder. Yet, other treatable sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea, can cause cognitive symptoms.

What Causes CTE?

CTE is primarily caused by repetitive traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), including concussions and nonconcussive impacts. Understanding that a few isolated concussions are not typically enough to put an individual at risk for CTE is essential. Most CTE cases involve hundreds or thousands of head impacts sustained over many years.

A comprehensive study in 2022, “Applying the Bradford Hill Criteria for Causation to Repetitive Head Impacts and CTE,” concluded that repetitive head impacts are definitively linked to CTE. This study, authored by experts worldwide, provided strong evidence supporting this connection.

In October 2022, The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) publicly acknowledged that repetitive traumatic brain injuries cause CTE. This recognition, following a letter from field experts, reaffirmed this issue’s significance.

Take Action Against CTE

CTE is a serious concern, but you can make a difference by taking action:

  • Stay informed: Keep up-to-date with CTE research to understand the issue better.
  • Support research: Contribute to CTE research initiatives to advance our knowledge.
  • Advocate for change: Get involved in safety advocacy to limit brain injuries.
  • Seek medical attention: If you or someone you know shows symptoms, seek medical help.

Together, we can raise awareness and promote safety.

If you’re dealing with CTE-related issues, legal guidance can be crucial:

  • Initial consultation: Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your case.
  • Case evaluation: We’ll assess your situation and determine the best legal approach.
  • Advocacy: Our team will advocate for your rights and build a strong case.
  • Support and compassion: We provide compassionate support throughout the process.

CTE is a critical concern, especially in sports and military service. Understanding its history, recognizing its symptoms, and grasping its causes are essential to raising awareness. 

Together, we can ensure that those at risk receive the support they need. If you or a loved one has been affected by CTE, consider seeking legal guidance from an experienced personal injury lawyer. Together, we can work towards a safer future for athletes, veterans, and anyone susceptible to CTE.

Contact the Texas Personal Injury Lawyers of The Law Firm of Alton C. Todd Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today

Please contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at The Law Firm of Alton C. Todd Personal Injury Lawyers to get a free initial consultation today. We have offices in Friendswood and Galveston, Texas. Call us at (281) 809-6471.

The Law Firm of Alton C. Todd Personal Injury Lawyers – Galveston
2101 Mechanic St. Suite 253
Galveston, TX 77550

The Law Firm of Alton C. Todd Personal Injury Lawyers
312 S. Friendswood Dr.
Friendswood, TX 77546