For many people across the United States, sports and athletic activities are a huge part of their childhoods and often also a part of their high school and maybe even college careers. We are taught at a young age the importance of sportsmanship, exercise, and persistence. However, even though participation in sports brings about a significant number of positive attributes, there are some negative side effects of this participation as well, injury being the most common.
Recently, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) has been making the headlines throughout the United States both in newspapers and even in the movies. CTE is a tragic, progressive degenerative disease that is found in individuals who have suffered several or severe trauma to the head. In the past, this disease was most frequently associated with boxers, who of course suffered years of trauma to the head. However, researchers began to study the brains of deceased professional athletes and discovered that their brains showed signs of CTE. Most recently, the disease has been linked to even non-professional athletes.
In most cases, signs of CTE begin manifesting about a decade after the individuals last suffered their pattern of repetitive head trauma. Some common symptoms are confusion, rage, mood dysfunction, disorientation, which increase to erratic behavior, dementia, tremors, and maybe even suicide.