In almost every case in which I represent a client who has sustained a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), the defense courtroom doctors write that my clients have not, in fact, suffered permanent injuries as everyone who suffers a mild traumatic brain injury goes on to eventually and uneventfully recover. If that were true, then we would expect that people who sustain multiple concussion/mild traumatic brain injuries should have no long term effect, because, from this logic, each injury is self-limited and results in full recovery over a period of time.
However, a recent study, which was conducted by researchers with the Department of Veteran Affairs and Boston University, found that 96% of examined NFL players and 79% of all examined football players have suffered the degenerative disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is known to be a progressive degenerative disease of the brain, which can be found in person’s suffering from repetitive brain trauma. This trauma includes both symptomatic concussions and asymptomatic subconcussive hits to the head.
Additionally, the study found that 40% of those who tested positive CTE were offensive and defensive lineman. “That finding supports past research suggesting that it’s the repeat, more minor head trauma that occurs regularly in football that may pose the greatest risk to players, as opposed to just the sometimes violent collisions that cause concussions.”
This recent study, which can be found here, should certainly put to rest the argument that everyone who suffers a concussion recovers.