This article looks at new research into brain injuries among high school and professional football players.
In light of recent controversies involving concussions among professional athletes, parents, coaches, fans, and athletes themselves are becoming increasingly aware of the risks of faced by football players. While changes have been made to better protect athletes,
brain injuries among both amateur and professional football players continues to be a serious problem. Recent studies, for example, have shown that despite growing awareness surrounding concussions in football, many players continue to be subjected to potential long-term harm due to repetitive brain injuries.
As CBS New York recently reported, so far this year three people have died due to high school football injuries in the United States, including one incident that occurred in New Jersey. Additionally, statistics show that 58 percent of emergency visits by 8 to 13-year-old athletes are due to head trauma.
The danger is something that many parents are aware of, with some placing restrictions on their children’s participation in the game. In New York, for example, participation in high school football has declined 10 percent over the past five years. Many high schools in New York and New Jersey have also responded by introducing new measures designed to lower the likelihood of concussions developing among their players. Limits on full-pad practice and helmet-to-helmet contact, for example, are aimed at reducing concussion rates.
Injuries still a problem
Nonetheless, analysts caution that while awareness of the problem is growing, the true extent of that problem is still largely unknown. Recent studies into chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain disease related to repetitive brain injuries, suggests that the problem of head trauma among amateur and professional football players may be widespread.
According to The Atlantic, researchers at the Department of Veteran Affairs and Boston University recently studied the brains of 165 deceased individuals who played high school, college, and/or professional football. Overall, 79 percent of all the brains studied showed signs of CTE, while an overwhelming 96 percent of the brains belonging just to professional players exhibited signs of CTE.
While research continues into brain injuries in amateur and professional sports, athletes and parents should inform themselves of the risks. Sport-related head injuries are serious and are also often preventable. The long-term consequences of a brain injury can be especially dire and may sometimes lead to lifelong pain and suffering that will in turn require ongoing treatment. Anybody who has been the victim of such an injury should reach out to a personal injury attorney who is experienced in handling cases related to brain injuries. Such an attorney can help injured athletes understand what, if any, forms of compensation may be available to them and assist them in understanding what the legal ramifications of their injury may be.