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Troubling findings about high school football head injuries

Brain injuries should always be considered serious. There was a time when bumps on the head like those that occur in football were considered minor. Recent research lets us know that this isn't the case. All of these head injuries demand attention.

One reason why all head injuries, including those that occur in high school football, should be treated right away is because of the risk of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Many people might have heard of this condition in relation to NFL players; however, it has recently come to light that high school players can also be impacted by this condition.

The figures from a recent study are stunning. In former high school players, there was evidence of CTE found in 21 percent, or three out of 14 brains studied. In former college players, the rate was 91 percent in the study with 48 of 53 brains showing evidence of this disease.

A frightening point to know about CTE is that it isn't something that can be diagnosed and treated. The only way to definitively diagnose CTE is through a post-mortem exam of the brain. This does little for the people who suffer from this condition because it is found too late to help them out. In some cases, this condition has led to suicidal or homicidal actions.

It is possible for people around those who have suffered concussions and hits to the head like those in football to keep an eye out for emotional and behavioral changes that are associated with CTE. These can include angry outbursts, suicidal thoughts, depression and similar factors.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Football’s Concussion Crisis Is Killing Former High School Players, Too," Andy Martino, Aug. 12, 2017

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