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What Are Possible Long-Term Effects of Concussions?

Posted On October 25, 2016 In Personal Injury

Concussions may have long-term consequencesABC News recently published a story on a Texas cheerleader who suffered five concussions during her 15 years cheerleading. The story describes some of the cheerleader’s long-term symptoms, such as difficulty finding the right words when speaking, or loss of short-term memory. After discovering she was at risk for suffering more concussions, she took the advice of her doctor and finally quit cheerleading – probably a sound decision. She was already suffering from some of the long-term effects of concussions. Additional concussions could have compounded her problems, possibly even leading to more serious health conditions later in life.

Some people who suffer concussions, especially those who suffer more than one, can experience long-term effects like this cheerleader. Depending on the severity, the effects of even one concussion can disrupt a person’s career, education and personal life. Two common long-term health problems associated with concussions are post-concussion syndrome and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

What is Post-Concussion Syndrome?

Post-concussion syndrome causes several debilitating symptoms, such as dizziness, severe headaches, anxiety attacks, fatigue, depression, inability to concentrate, and insomnia. For people who are working or are in school, these symptoms can make everyday activities extremely difficult. Symptoms can last for days, weeks or months.

In fact, a famous actor recently commented on his experience with post-concussion syndrome. Damian Lewis, the former star of Showtime’s Homeland, discussed how he suffered a severe concussion after slamming into a taxicab while on his motorcycle twenty years ago.

Lewis was a theatre actor at the time of the accident, and that meant he had to be comfortable performing in front of other people. Three weeks after his motorcycle accident, Lewis returned to performing, only something was wrong. Midway through his performance, he had a severe anxiety attack. Over the course of the next several months, he experienced depression and felt as if he was entering a downward spiral. He reported mental health and migraine symptoms so severe that he was unable to watch television, read or even get dressed. Fortunately, Lewis eventually regained his functionality and gave us several great television shows and movies.

Post-concussion syndrome is possible after suffering one concussion. For people who have suffered multiple concussions, the possible long-term health problems are much more severe.

What is CTE or ‘Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy’?

People like the cheerleader in the beginning of the blog could face irreversible long-term health problems. Athletes in her position have a heightened risk of developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) later in life. CTE is a degenerative brain disease that may result from suffering multiple concussions over a long career.

Symptoms of CTE mimic Alzheimer’s disease. Suffers may have difficulty thinking, dementia, and memory loss. In addition, people with CTE may have impulsive behavior, problems with speech, loss of executive function (the ability to plan or carry out tasks) and difficulties with movement.

You may have heard about CTE, as there was a movie called Concussion that was released last year starring Will Smith. There have also been several high-profile lawsuits directed at sports organizations like the NFL and WWE.

Concussions are given the name “mild-traumatic brain injuries” by some. After reading this blog and learning of the possible long-term symptoms accident survivors and athletes can face, do you believe concussions should be called mild-traumatic brain injuries?

The Texas personal injury attorneys at Mike Love & Associates, LLC, can help individuals who have suffered catastrophic injuries due to the negligence of others.

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