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What is Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy?

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, which is commonly known as CTE, often makes the news as it relates to professional athletes, such as football players and hockey players. It can be caused by repeated concussions and blows to the head, which happen in contact sports. It should be noted that concussions are not a prerequisite; someone could suffer repeated trauma, never have a concussion, and still end up with CTE.

However, it is not confined only to sports, so it’s important for everyone to know what CTE is and how it could impact them.

Overall, it’s a progressive degenerative disease. The brain tissue begins to break down and an abnormal protein, known as tau, begins to build up.

Together, both of these changes can bring about a host of symptoms, including:

— General confusion
— Memory loss
— Impaired judgement
— Mood swings and aggression
— Perpetual depression
— Issues with impulse control
— Progressive dementia

It is worth noting that there have even been claims that CTE has been linked to suicide. This is a relatively new area of study, though, and more information has been coming out. Though boxers have been experiencing CTE since the ’20s, there has been a recent surge in interest.

Additionally, this is a long-term disorder. The full impact can often take years to be seen. Even those who have known head trauma may not see just how far CTE can go until long after the incidents occurred.

If you or a loved one have been suffering from CTE in Ontario, you may be able to seek compensation.

Source: Boston University, “What is CTE?,” accessed March 11, 2016

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