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Protecting Accident Victims Throughout Western Pennsylvania.

What is chronic traumatic encephalopathy?

On Behalf of | May 29, 2019 | Personal Injury

A traumatic brain injury in Pennsylvania is always cause for concern, especially when the patient is a young person. That said, there are variations in the severity of TBI. A concussion is the least severe and most common type. Many concussions are relatively mild, and most patients recover completely with no obvious ill effects. However, the cumulative effects of repeated concussions may result in a more serious condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

According to the Mayo Clinic, chronic traumatic encephalopathy is not yet well understood. For that reason, it is controversial within the medical community. Even if your doctor thinks that your symptoms are consistent with CTE, the only sure way to diagnose it is by studying sections of the brain during an autopsy after the patient’s death, meaning that the best your doctor can offer you while you are still alive is an educated guess as to what is causing your symptoms.

The belief is that repeated traumas to the head, resulting in multiple concussions, promote atrophy within the brain. In other words, parts of the brain shrink and waste away. That being the case, the people most at risk for CTE are people prone to head injuries, including military personnel, athletes who play contact sports like football or rugby, epileptics and victims of physical abuse.

However, even if you experience multiple head injuries, it is not a foregone conclusion that you will eventually experience CTE. There are likely other factors that come into play and contribute to the characteristic brain atrophy. More research will be necessary to identify these factors and determine the conditions required for CTE to develop.

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.