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Former NFL player hopes 'Concussion' will bring changes to football

The movie "Concussion" is receiving considerable press due to the controversy over the NFL's responsibility to players who suffer concussions. According to Reuters, approximately 5,000 former NFL players have filed suit against the NFL over the league's handling of brain injuries.

The movie, and lawsuit, focuses on players' exposure to repeated concussions, not just a single traumatic brain injury. Until recently, the extent of the damage caused by a concussion or mild traumatic brain injury was not widely known. Now, the dangers of post-concussive syndrome (PCS) are being taken more seriously.

People with PCS, including football players, need adequate rehabilitation time after suffering a concussion. When they do not receive it, their symptoms can be more severe and last longer. Symptoms of PCS may include headaches, nausea, mood or personality changes, fatigue, memory loss and confusion.

In addition, repetitive blows to the head such as those suffered by football players, boxers and other athletes can result in chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). This dangerous disease typically presents initially with issues such as:

  • Short-term memory loss
  • Cognitive difficulty
  • Depression and suicidal tendencies
  • Mood disorders

As CTE progresses, symptoms often become worse, and the person may exhibit:

  • Trouble speaking
  • Physical impairments
  • Irritability and aggressive behavior
  • Vision problems
  • Dementia

Doctors and researchers are still learning about CTE. If you or a family member has suffered repetitive head trauma or any type of brain injury, it is critical that you see a neurologist. We have resources for brain injury victims and their families on our website. You can also speak with our lawyer to discuss your options.

Source: www.reuters.com, "'Concussion' film stirs NFL brain injury debate," Steve Ginsberg, Dec. 20, 2015

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