New Study Highlights Brain Injury Risks for Certain Young Athletes
Boston University’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Center just recently reported on the alarming results of the largest-ever study done on CTE in young athletes, and the results will make you question whether young people are negligently placed in harm’s way when they are involved in certain athletic activities.
CTE is a devastating and incurable form of dementia which causes neurodegeneration of the brain, and has been long associated with contact sports. The study specifically found signs of CTE in 63 out of 152 young athlete brains, where all of them had completed in youth, high school, and college competitions, and all had died before the age of 30.
These results have major implications for sporting leagues here in Las Vegas and all over the world as, while CTE has long been viewed as the type of degenerative disease that one develops later in life, the new study clearly shows that brain injuries associated with certain activities actually start much earlier.
How Does This Happen?
There is evidence that developing brains are more vulnerable to brain injuries and associated trauma, as it creates a chronic inflammatory response that affects brain development. While the risk factors are complex and multifaceted, it is known that playing junior contact sports increases a young person’s risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases. In fact, the strongest predictor for developing CTE is cumulative exposure to repeated brain trauma as opposed to experiencing a certain number of diagnosable concussions; In other words, it is the prolonged exposure to repeated low-level impacts that appears to cause a greater amount of brain trauma (as opposed to athletes who sustain a small number of more forceful injuries).
Lawsuits Against Young Athlete Leagues
As a result, youth organizations should absolutely take a closer look at what practices they are putting in place to protect the brains of all athletes, especially when it comes to junior and recreational competitions. Certain organizations – such as Pop Warner Football – have already been sued by a number of families whose young children not only suffered brain injuries as a result of the organization, but all of the many psychological and emotional issues that come along with CTE, such as obsessive-compulsive tendencies, depression, and other problems. In fact, a number of young people who have been shown to incur CTE at an early age also have an incidence of committing suicide at young ages as well, as the disease is known to cause behavior changes and mood disorders.
Contact Our Las Vegas Brain Injury Attorneys with Questions
If your child or loved one has incurred a brain injury due to participating in contact sports, there could be a legal claim brought if negligence was involved. Your first step is to contact a local brain injury attorney to find out what your options are in order to ensure that your loved one has what they need to move forward and receive care. Contact the Las Vegas brain injury attorneys of Cameron Law today to find out more about your options and our services.