Head injuries are in the news more frequently than ever as sports safety advocates reveal the dangers of concussions. Studies are showing that concussions, typically caused by a blow to the head or violent shaking, are the most commonly known cause of many other conditions, including post-concussive syndrome. However, it does not always take a severe head injury to place you at risk of serious medical conditions.
While PCS symptoms begin at the time of the injury and continue for weeks or months afterward, another disturbing condition is now under the microscope of medical researchers, and it brings a grim prognosis to those who have suffered repeated, even mild concussions over the years.
Diagnosing chronic traumatic encephalopathy
Symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy may not occur until years after you have suffered a head injury, particularly if you have received repeated blows to the head, such as if you were an athlete or someone who served in the military. The repeated injuries seem to change the proteins in the brain causing the cells to degenerate and die.
There is no way to confirm this while you are living, and even an MRI may not show the damage. However, many who believe they suffer from this condition donate their brains to science for further study on this mysterious illness, especially if they suffered from any of these symptoms:
- Loss of memory
- Problems with thinking or behavior
- Personality changes, such as apathy, aggression or paranoia
- Severe depression and thoughts of suicide
- Inability to control your impulses or make decisions
- Slurred speech
- Increasing difficulty walking or balancing
Any combination of these symptoms can indicate to doctors that you are suffering from CTE. Unfortunately, aside from experimental options, there is no treatment for CTE. In most cases, victims of this condition can expect the symptoms to worsen, and eventually dementia will set in.
This can be devastating news for you and your family, and you may find it difficult to get the help and financial assistance you need for a condition that is difficult to diagnose. Nevertheless, there are steps you can take to improve the chances of a successful application for disability benefits. This may include keeping a journal of your symptoms and collecting opinions from medical professionals with experience in head trauma disorders. A Florida legal professional can also guide you through the process of seeking the benefits you need.