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Momma, don't let your babies grow up to be NFL players

Studies over the past number of years have revealed a massive amount of brain injuries suffered by football players, especially those in the National Football League (NFL). By studying numerous NFL players, both living and dead, experts discovered the following terrifying statistics:

  • Nearly 80 percent of all football players (and 96 percent of NFL players) have chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative disease found only after death.
  • Professional football players are four times more likely to have ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease).
  • Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, dementia and other brain disorders are common among football players.
  • Thousands of living players have traumatic brain injuries.

Head injuries have a cumulative effect, especially on children

Even players who never make it to the echelon of the NFL may have suffered significant injury by the time they reach adulthood. Take the story of Michael Keck, a Missouri State football player who died from an unrelated condition at the age of 25 in 2013.

Keck has been experiencing episodes of confusion, memory loss and emotional outbursts, and told family members and teammates that he "thought something was wrong" with his brain. He asked his wife to have his brain sent to researchers to study after his death.

On a post-mortem autopsy, doctors reported that his brain had the worst case of CTE ever seen in a person so young. Keck played football since he was a young boy, and, by the time he was a junior in college, he'd had more than 10 concussions. The same doctors suspect the cumulative brain damage was to blame. While there is no magic age that a child can start playing rough sports, they caution parents to allow their children to wait until their bodies mature and their muscles are coordinated.

How to recognize signs of brain injuries

If your child has received a blow to the head or body, look for the following symptoms provided by the Mayo Clinic:

  • Cognitive: Short term and long term memory loss, mental confusion, difficulty speaking or forming sentences, problems concentrating, difficulty maintaining train of thought, persistent repetition, moments of clarity followed by confusion
  • Behavioral: Uncontrollable laughing or crying, impulsivity, aggression, unexplained irritability, anxiety, depression, anger
  • Mechanical: Inability to maintain balance, blacking out, feeling dizzy, fainting, fatigue, seizure
  • Other: Persistent headache lasting more than a day, dilated or unequal pupils, dark circles under or around eyes, nausea, vomiting, slurred or impaired speech, loss of smell, sensitivity to light or sound, blurred vision, numbness or tingling, ringing in ears

If anyone you know has experienced a traumatic head injury, blow to the head or jarring injury and is experiencing one or more these symptoms, seek medical assistance immediately.

Treatment for brain injuries can last a lifetime. While no amount of money can reverse the damage done, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you get the medical treatment you need.

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