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Former College Football Player Had Worst Brain Trauma, Doctor Reports

There recently was a report in the media about a star football player for the University of Missouri from 2009-12, and he knew soon after he graduated that something was wrong with his brain.


He was only in his mid-20s, but his memory was failing, and he could not concentrate. He also had become much more emotional and temperamental. The man thought that he could be suffering from the same brain trauma that former NFL star Junior Seau had; Seau committed suicide in 2012 due to his degenerative brain disease from playing football.

The young man died from a heart problem in 2013 at the age of 25. At the end of his life, he told his wife to donate his brain to Boston University so doctors could look for brain trauma caused by playing football, known as chronic traumatic encephalophathy (CTE).


According to the researchers’ report released this week in JAMA Neurology, the doctors found unusual clumps of abnormal tau protein scattered all through his brain, which is one of the signs of CTE. One doctor noted that it was the worst case of CTE he had ever seen in someone so young.

He had played football since he was six years old and had at least 10 concussions by his junior year in college. The blows to the head left him with severe headaches and he had to sit out several games that year.

After one of his concussions, he even took a year off from football, but he still would have headaches and his vision sometimes would fade to black. His wife reports that he also had trouble reading books and he would get angry and throw books across the room.

A year before he passed away, he even had to stop working as he had trouble organizing himself for the day.

Experts say that while they do not recommend that people do not play football at all, it is a good idea to wait to play until they are older and the body and brain are move developed.

We find the number of incidents involving traumatic brain injuries among football players to be disturbing. Now that there is clear scientific evidence that concussions in football can cause substantial brain damage, it seems likely that there will be litigation about such injuries often in the years to come.

Traumatic brain injuries often change the lives of people who suffer from them, and sometimes they even die. Research shows that more than two million people in the US have some sort of brain trauma each year. About 300,000 of these incidents require going to a hospital. If you have suffered any type of head trauma due to the actions of another party, you should know that a head injury can cost you up to $4 million for life time care.

One of our personal injury clients in Virginia who had a TBI due to a train derailment has medical costs of hundreds of thousands per year, but at least we were able to obtain him a $60 million jury verdict. If you suspect you or a loved one has had a brain injury in any type of accident, you should speak to an experienced personal injury attorney in your state.


Randall E. Appleton
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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