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What You Should Know

Traumatic Brain Injury Tied to Headaches and Depression in NFL Players

A recently published study proves that former NFL athletes have more frequent and severe headaches than the general population. This pattern is clearly associated with the players’ history of concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). In addition, players experience high rates of depression and anxiety, which is tied to their head trauma.

This study was released on the same day that a settlement was approved by federal judge in a lawsuit brought by injured players against the NFL. The NFL will be required to pay over $900 million dollars to professional players who suffered severe injuries during their tenure in the league.

Athletes in the study had experienced an average of 7.25 concussions during their careers, which averaged less than 5 years. As a result of these recurrent traumatic brain injuries, players were shown to be in the questionable to mild range on a measure of dementia, the clinical dementia rating (CDR) scale. They reported an average of over 19 days with headaches each month, and nearly 40% of the players met the criteria for chronic migraines.

There was a direct correlation between the number of years that each player was active in the NFL and the number of days they experienced headaches, and between the number of concussions suffered by each player and the number of headache days they experienced. On several other measures of neurological health, the football players shows alarming signs of deficiencies in learning, memory, perception, and concentration. Although players in the study did not exhibit neurological symptoms of ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, severe dementia, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, these conditions have frequently been documented among retired athletes, including through autopsies after their death. In addition, other studies have suggested that damage to white matter in the brain can be a major risk factor for depression.

These challenges, pain, and suffering are a direct result of repeated traumatic head injury. Although professional football players are more often in danger of sustaining a serious head injury than most other people, TBIs can happen to anyone. They are frequently caused by falls, blows to the head, motor vehicle accidents, or assault.

Seek Counsel and Representation if You Have Been Injured

TBIs can result in death or permanent disability, in particularly severe cases. Traumatic brain injuries, in addition to being physically damaging, are often incredibly emotionally painful and financially difficult.

If you or a loved one has experienced a traumatic brain injury or any other serious head injury because of the carelessness of another person, in a traffic accident, slip and fall, or other serious accident, you may be entitled to compensation. The responsible party is obligated to help pay for medical treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Victims who have sustained trauma to the head should seek immediate medical attention. In addition, it is important to seek the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney, in order to preserve your ability to recover for the damage you have suffered. The dedicated team at Fasig & Brooks can guide you through the process of filing a claim, and can answer any questions you might have about your case. Contact our Tallahassee office today at (850) 583-9409 to set up a free initial consultation.