What makes chronic traumatic encephalopathy so unique?

Some people suffer more than one concussion in their lifetime. Unfortunately, these individuals are at risk of developing a condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy. This condition is fatal and can’t be diagnosed until after a person passes away.

The symptoms of CTE can often mimic those of dementia, so it is sometimes difficult for people to determine what is causing symptoms they are experiencing, such aggression, impulse control problems and depression. Some people have suicidal thoughts, and are susceptible to acting on them.

Why is CTE difficult to spot?

One of the issues with CTE is that the symptoms don’t manifest right when the brain trauma occurs. It can take years to decades for them to manifest after the most recent injury to the brain. The changes that occur in the brain can’t be spotted through a diagnostic method available for living beings. Instead, CTE effects can only be seen during a post-mortem brain exam that is done during an autopsy.

Are there any treatments for CTE?

Since it can’t be diagnosed during a person’s life, there are no treatments specifically for CTE. Doctors will focus on treating the symptoms, but won’t correct the underlying issue. When a patient has repeated brain trauma, the brain tissues degenerate. This leads to a build up of tau, which is a protein that isn’t normally found in the brain.

Who should be worried about CTE?

People who have multiple head traumas have to be concerned about CTE. These are typically those who have two or more concussions. It is important to note that not everyone who has more than one concussion will end up with CTE. It is believed that there are many factors that will lead to the condition. However, researchers haven’t pinpointed these yet. Research is still ongoing, but it is limited since it requires people who have CTE, but don’t know it yet, to donate their brain to science so it can be studied, along with other factors.

Anyone who has a head injury should get medical care. Because there is a chance for ongoing medical bills, people who face these injuries might opt to seek compensation from the party whose negligence led to the accident. This can help to defray some of the financial damage if the claim is successful.

FindLaw Network

View All
Practice areas