Kentucky Injury Lawyers

The Difference Between a TBI and a Concussion

Published on Dec 15, 2016 at 12:00 pm in Brain Injury.

The brain is one of the most fragile areas of the body. Any injuries it sustains can lead to serious, lifelong complications. Extremely serious brain injuries, often referred to as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), are usually caused by trauma that results in unconsciousness. There’s another type of brain injury that’s slightly less severe and therefore less obvious. This type of injury, despite being more minor, can still be dangerous. Its symptoms can take years to present themselves, but they are no less deadly or debilitating than TBI symptoms.

N.F.L.’s Flawed Concussion Research Potentially Tied to the Tobacco Industry

Published on Mar 28, 2016 at 2:27 pm in Brain Injury.

For the last 13 years, the National Football League has stood behind the league committee’s research papers that downplayed the news headlines claiming that a frightening number of players went into retirement early after experiencing concussions and other brain injuries like chronic traumatic encephalopathy—a type of degenerative brain disease. Despite physician criticism years after the research papers were published, the N.F.L. stood by the committee’s publications. Now, thanks to a major investigation launched by The New York Times, there’s new research suggesting that the papers were indeed heavily flawed—even more so than the critics thought years ago.

Concussion Litigation Increases Protection of Student Athletes

Published on Jan 18, 2016 at 9:49 am in Brain Injury.

The American Association for Justice (AAJ) has released a report titled Concussions and the Courthouse that describes the dramatic and powerful effect the law has had on how coaches and administrators handle athletes with concussion injuries.  To accompany the report, AAJ is also launching the new interactive website http://concussion.justice.org/.  It has long been known through medical research that football players are at a very high risk of receiving a dangerous concussion injury, but this knowledge alone fueled little change in what was being done to protect athletes.  Recent lawsuits, though small in settlement, have had a massive impact on player safety and have greatly increased awareness of the athletes’ risk for concussion among parents, coaches, and school administrators.

Recent Study Finds CTE Present in the Brains of 96% of Deceased NFL Players

Published on Oct 16, 2015 at 1:03 pm in Brain Injury.

Researchers at the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University have recently released the results of a $1 million study, paid for by the NFL, conducted on the brains of deceased professional football players.  The study identified chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in 96 percent of NFL players’ brains examined, indicating that there is a link between football and long-term brain disease.  Overall, the study found CTE in the brains of 79 percent of the deceased football players tested, including those who played at only the high school or college level.

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is a progressive, degenerative disease which currently can only be definitively diagnosed postmortem.  CTE occurs when an individual receives blows to the head over a period of time, causing progressive damage to the nerve cells in the brain.  The condition has serious side effects, including memory loss, impaired judgment, depression, and dementia.

The results of this study support the results of previous studies, stating that it is not the rare, violent head trauma that causes players to experience this kind of brain damage; rather it is the frequent, minor blows that have the long term effects.  The injuries that result in CTE cause abnormal accumulations of proteins in the brain, interfering in the cell-to-cell communication and altering the white matter of the brain.  The researchers found that 40 percent of the football players studied who had CTE were offensive or defensive linemen, a position that experiences collision and physical contact on every play.

Many NFL players have taken legal action against the league for injuries they experienced that have had long term health effects.  In April, the NFL reached a settlement of $1 billion to resolve these cases in a class action lawsuit involving the former players.  In response to the results of this recent study, the NFL released this statement, “We are dedicated to making football safer and continue to take steps to protect players, including rule changes, advanced sideline technology, and expanded medical resources.  We continue to make significant investments in independent research through our gifts to Boston University, the National Institutes of Health, and other efforts to accelerate the science and understanding of these issues.”

If you wish to learn more about the risks of developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy as a result of playing sports, such as football and soccer, contact the Louisville, Kentucky brain injury lawyers at Thomas Law Offices for more information.

Mayo Clinic Studies Promising Sideline Concussion Test

Published on Aug 13, 2014 at 8:00 am in Brain Injury.

Brain Injury Law SuitsResearchers at the Mayo Clinic have been studying a test that can be used to test athletes with head impacts during a game. Called the King-Devick test, it measures rapid eye movement and attention – both of which are affected by concussions.

Athletes are first given a baseline test at the beginning of a season – to measure response time as they read single-digit numbers displayed on cards. Then, during a game when the player experiences a suspected head trauma, the player is given the test again. If it takes longer to complete the test after an injury, the player is taken out of the game and given medical attention.

The test was tried out on high school hockey players. After taking the baseline test, 20 of 150 players had suspected concussions and were given the test; all 20 had a delayed reaction time compared to their baseline when tested right after the injury, and all 20 were later diagnosed with concussions.