The Nature of Brain Trauma: Seau’s Effect on Former NFL Players - Personal Injury Legal Blogs Posted by Richard P. Console, Jr. - Lawyers.com

The Nature of Brain Trauma: Seau’s Effect on Former NFL Players

An autopsy conducted on former National Football League star Junior Seau revealed no signs of chronic injury or degenerative disease from his multiple decades on the playing field, according to CNN. In particular, medical examiners in San Diego County found no evidence of brain damage or disease from repeated blows to the head, which many have blamed for the debilitating conditions former players are living with. The most serious of these conditions is chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE, a degenerative disease of the brain caused by multiple concussions or other head injuries over a period of time. Personal injury lawyers in Paterson and across New Jersey may be concerned how Seau’s autopsy report could affect public perception as former players attempt to sue the NFL for allegedly misleading them about the serious effects of brain injuries sustained on the field.

Seau left behind no note explaining why he committed suicide and investigators have offered no theories relating to a potential cause, according to the medical examiner’s report issued this week. He is the latest retired player to take his own life joining Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson who committed suicide in a similar manner a year prior. Medical reports from Duerson’s autopsy indicate his brain had significant accumulations of a protein normally released when the brain is rattled inside the skull. This protein normally lodges in areas which affect judgment, mood and memory, which may account for the depression and abnormal behavior victims of repeated concussions suffer.

Former players looking for compensation from the NFL for their injuries may face an uphill battle if medical examinations suggest no substantive link between chronic degenerative diseases of the brain and concussions. Personal injury attorneys in Passaic monitoring the claim may point to a recent study of the brains of former players conducted by Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy showed evidence of CTE in 18 of 19 players examined, according to CNN. While that data works in their favor, Seau’s case seems to stick out as evidence that some players can simply sustain repeated blows over their careers and suffer no apparent ill effects. Over his 20-year-career, Seau played for the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots. He amassed 1,524 tackles over that time, according to Pro Football Reference.

The autopsy report released in the death of former NFL star Junior Seau raises questions about the nature of traumatic brain injuries and their affect on cognitive functions. How could the lawsuits of former NFL players against the league be impacted by these findings?

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Richard P. Console, Jr.

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