Massachusetts sports fans would not be surprised to know that concussions are a major concern for athletes who play contact sports. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the NFL have teamed up to understand more about how concussions affect the brain. The research done regarding the long-term effects of concussions and the diagnosis of brain injuries could ultimately help accident victims who receive traumatic brain injuries.
Researchers already know that the effects of a concussion last much longer than was understood in the past. Just how long and what permanent damage, if any, follows still requires research. Professional football players suffer from successive concussions, which are known to lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a condition characterized by progressive degeneration of the brain from multiple concussions.
Obviously, someone in a car accident would not suffer successive concussions, but the amount of damage done over time in an NFL receiver could be done nearly instantaneously in a severe accident. Even a single traumatic brain injury can have unforeseen and lasting effects. The earlier a brain injury is diagnosed, the sooner treatment can begin in the hopes of reducing any lasting, permanent effects.
Sadly, the cost of new diagnostic techniques and treatments for traumatic brain injuries is often well above an accident victim's budget. It may be possible to seek financial restitution for a traumatic brain injury through the filing of a civil action related to the accident that caused it. If negligence is proved, the victim may be awarded damages that include future medical treatments as well as costs already incurred. Such an award could make it possible to receive the most advanced treatments available in Massachusetts.
Source: redorbit.com, NFL And NIH Team Up To Study Traumatic Brain Injury, Brett Smith, Dec. 20, 2013