In the past year, the doctors and scientists who study traumatic brain injuries have been garnering a significant amount of attention due to their findings related to brain injuries in athletes. One such injury is chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). This injury became the focus of the media because of the realization that many professional athletes have been diagnosed, after their deaths, with suffering from this brain injury. However, as time passes, research has shown that CTE is actually much more common than most people realize, and even high school and college athletes have been diagnosed with brain injuries that may be linked to CTE.
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a chronic degenerative disease that is often a result of repeated concussions and head trauma. This disease often leads to severe brain damage that can cause serious mental health and physical issues for those individuals suffering from it. Often, this disease affects professional athletes, specifically football players and other players of high-impact sports. This is because in these sports, athletes face repeated falls and head trauma, and in many cases these injuries are not adequately treated in the immediate aftermath.
A CTE diagnosis can cause people to exhibit signs of mental illness, such as erratic behavior, anger, depression, and suicidal tendencies. Unfortunately, up until very recently, CTE was only able to be diagnosed after the individual was deceased. However, there is some research that indicates that CTE may now be able to be detected prior to death. It has been noted that many players who were found to be suffering from CTE engaged in very dangerous and uncharacteristic behavior prior to their deaths.