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What is chronic traumatic encephalopathy?

On Behalf of | Jul 30, 2020 | Firm News

Head trauma can occur due to blunt force, car accidents or slips and falls. When you suffer a traumatic brain injury, there are other conditions that you may risk developing. One of these conditions is chronic traumatic encephalopathy. This is a brain degeneration condition that doctors believe occurs after repeated head trauma.

There is a lot that doctors have yet to discover. One thing to note is that, according to MayoClinic, doctors cannot fully diagnose the condition while the patient is alive. In rare cases, they can, however, conclude that a person has developed CTE.

What are the symptoms of CTE?

With CTE, the symptoms can be difficult to pinpoint. It is a rare disorder, but some symptoms can lead doctors to suspect CTE. These symptoms may include:

  • Cognitive impairment
  • Depression and apathy
  • Emotional instability
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Lack of impulse control
  • Substance abuse

Most symptoms can also be the symptoms of other head injury-related conditions. CTE does not typically develop until years after the head trauma.

You should see a doctor if you have any changes to your mood, memory problems, suicidal thoughts or if you have a head injury that could cause these symptoms.

What causes CTE?

CTE can occur due to repetitive head trauma. This does not mean that all people who have repetitive head trauma end up with CTE, nor does it mean that everyone who has CTE underwent repetitive trauma. Scientists believe that CTE occurs when areas of the brain atrophy. Currently, there is no way to treat the condition. To help prevent it, doctors will try to reduce the risk of injuries after an initial concussion.