Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a rare condition characterized by progressive brain degeneration caused in part or whole by repeated blows to the head sustained over many years. 

As such, it tends to manifest in individuals who regularly engage in activities and jobs that present a high risk of head strikes and trauma, such as full-contact sports and military duty. CTE may also occur in cases of prolonged domestic violence.

What Are the Symptoms of CTE?

Symptoms of CTE typically appear after years of repeated blows to the head. They’re similar to symptoms caused by other degenerative brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. 

Sufferers of CTE may experience:

  • Headaches
  • Loss of memory
  • Foggy thinking and problems concentrating
  • Difficulty maintaining balance
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Depression 
  • Aggression

If you notice these symptoms in yourself or a loved one, it’s important to seek professional care as soon as possible. Doing so can help you get a handle on the condition and explore treatment options with your doctor.

How Does CTE Typically Develop?

As mentioned above, CTE is caused by repeated blows to the head over a long period of time. By considering which activities and jobs involve a risk of repeated head strikes, you can get a clearer idea of how CTE develops.

Activities that may cause CTE include:

  • Youth and adult sports, such as football, hockey, boxing, and martial arts
  • Military duty, especially involving explosions
  • Domestic violence and other abusive situations

Additionally, CTE tends to be more prevalent in individuals whose repeated head trauma began early, such as a child who begins playing tackle football at a young age and continues the sport for years. 

According to one study, deceased football players with confirmed cases of CTE who began playing the game before the age of 12 exhibited signs of CTE 13 years earlier than players in the study who started later. 

Diagnosing CTE

What makes CTE cases especially difficult is diagnosing them. Currently, all cases of the condition are diagnosed postmortem, which means doctors have no real pathological evidence of the disease while a patient is living. 

However, the progressive onset of specific symptoms coupled with a history of repetitive blows to the head is strong circumstantial evidence that CTE is present.

Who Can Be Held Responsible for a CTE Injury?

In personal injury cases, an individual must prove that their injury came about due to someone else’s negligence. When dealing with CTE, this negligence might be proven in various ways, depending on the circumstances of the injury.

For example, a player in a full-contact youth football league who develops CTE after years of play may technically have a case against several parties, including the league due to its policies or even a helmet manufacturer for a defective helmet.

However, personal injury cases based on CTE can be difficult to prosecute. In sports, participants are presumed to have assumed the risks of the games they play. A boxer would have difficulty suing someone for repeated blows to the head. 

With that being said, CTE suits in the world of sports can be successful, as was the case with thousands of NFL players who won the first settlement of its kind against the league.

CTE is a serious, debilitating condition that impacts the lives of many. You may have legal recourse if you or a loved one is facing this devastating disease. Speaking with a lawyer experienced in CTE cases can give you the answers you’re looking for and potential help for the future. 

For more information, please contact the personal injury lawyers at Hawk Law Group at our nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We serve throughout the Central Savannah River Area and it’s surrounding areas:

Hawk Law Group – Augusta, GA
338 Telfair St, Augusta, GA 30901, United States
(706) 722-3500

Hawk Law Group – Evans, GA
4384 River Watch Pkwy, Evans, GA 30809, United States
(706) 863-6500

Hawk Law Group – Thomson, GA
146 Railroad St A, Thomson, GA 30824, United States
(706) 361-0350

Hawk Law Group – Waynesboro, GA
827 Liberty St, Waynesboro, GA 30830, United States
(706) 437-9122

Hawk Law Group – Aiken County, SC
156 Laurens St NW, Aiken, SC 29801, United States
(803) 226-9089

We also serve in Edgefield County, SC.