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Brain Injuries Occur on Sports Fields of All Kinds

It was becoming a common myth that head injuries leading to brain damage and disease was only something football players and boxers had to worry about in sports. New information has now linked chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) to a soccer player, a rugby player and an MLB baseball player.

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a disease which causes a buildup of tau (a protein which can disable neural pathways controlling things like judgment, memory and fear) on the brain tissue. It’s a disease which can only be diagnosed after death.

According to Acta Neuropatholica, a medical journal, the degenerative brain disease was found in the brain of professional soccer player, Patrick Grange, who died at age 29 after being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a rare, incurable and degenerative brain disease.

Experts believe that, through repetitive heading of the ball in soccer, a cumulative toll was taken on the Grange’s brain. He was said to have no genetic predisposition to ALS, which is a disease said to be found in 13 percent of the 103 CTE cases uncovered by Dr. Anne McKee, the director of neuropathy at the Bedford VA Medical Center, and head examiner of Grange.

While heading a ball seems like it would be nothing in comparison to the brutal hits boxers and football players take, a 2004 Italian study linked playing professional soccer to ALS, citing the constant heading of the ball.

In addition, Australian researchers have found that rugby player Barry “Tizza” Taylor died of CTE complications at the age of 77, also suffering from severe dementia. Some of the mental issues he was reported of having included memory loss, attention difficulties, impulsivity, depression, anxiety and paranoia, among other traits associated with CTE. Further, an MLB player (Ryan Freel) was found to have CTE after his death, and it has been found in hockey players and wrestlers, as well.

As more and more information surfaces about brain injuries, it appears as though players or all sports must take safety precautions to protect against brain injury.

Head and brain injuries cause damage that will likely impact you for a lifetime. If you’ve suffered a brain injury while at work, playing a sport, in a car accident or in a slip and fall, you may be entitled to damages. Contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Cohen Placitella and Roth for a free consultation about your case today. Call 1-215-567-3500.

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