Kenny Habetz Injury Law | March 21, 2023 | Brain Injuries
Odds are that you have heard the acronym CTE before but didn’t know what it meant. CTE stands for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which is a degenerative brain disease that occurs when the brain suffers repeated trauma. It is commonly found in military veterans and athletes.
With CTE, the repetitive trauma can be from concussive or non-concussive impacts, which makes awareness and precautions all the more essential. This article will explain what CTE is, what its symptoms consist of, and what causes it.
Experts believe that repeated impacts to the head cause tau, a structural protein found in neurons, to misalign. This misalignment causes detrimental folds in surrounding proteins and spreads throughout the brain. As it spreads, it kills all the brain cells in its wake.
CTE has been found in individuals as young as 17. Unfortunately, it cannot be diagnosed until the subject is deceased, as doing so requires an autopsy to be performed. What’s even more frightening is the fact that symptoms can take years to reveal themselves, and by that point, the damage is done.
What Are the Symptoms of CTE?
Many people with CTE have reported a variety of mood and behavioral symptoms, including the following:
- Mood swings
When considering the symptoms listed above, it is important to note that experts do not necessarily agree that each one is a direct result of CTE itself. Instead, some of the symptoms could be caused by a concussion, which is a major contributor to what will eventually become CTE.
In short, these symptoms could show up if you are experiencing repeated head trauma, but they might not indicate actual CTE.
CTE can also lead to a variety of progressive disorders, including the following:
- Impaired judgment
- Short-term memory loss
- Loss of executive function
These progressive disorders usually manifest as the subject ages. Additionally, they do not necessarily all manifest at once. If you have CTE, you might only experience one or two of these symptoms.
What Are the Causes of CTE?
CTE occurs when the brain undergoes repeated traumatic injury. This doesn’t mean a few concussions but rather a series of severe, repeated head trauma events occurring over time.
Many of the individuals diagnosed with CTE have experienced hundreds to thousands of cranial impacts in their lives. This is why military personnel and athletes are the most likely to be affected. However, head trauma related to car accidents, workplace injuries, and other accidents can also contribute to CTE.
Further complicating matters is the fact that CTE isn’t found in everyone who has suffered repeated head trauma. There are other factors that come into play, including when the individual in question first experienced severe impacts to the head, how long they sustained repeated head injuries, and their genetic structure.
Can CTE Be Treated?
There are no accepted treatments for CTE as a whole. As mentioned earlier, it cannot be diagnosed until the subject is deceased, so properly identifying it can prove challenging.
Can You Avoid CTE?
CTE can be avoided by protecting your head. If you play contact sports, always wear a helmet and try to refrain from letting anything come into contact with your head. Additionally, avoid moving in an aggressive manner that can give you whiplash or cause your brain to shake around in your skull.
Contact a Louisiana Brain Injury Lawyer for Help Pursuing Compensation for CTE and Head Trauma
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you’re probably wondering how you can receive compensation. If the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, your next step might be looking into litigation to recover compensation for your injuries.