The dangerous consequences of sports-related blows to the head include many long-term and debilitating burdens, as described by many former athletes and detailed in a recent CBS News article.

All too often young athletes feel they are invincible and immune to any sort of long-term injury. But several ailments – such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a progressive neurodegenerative disease – can emerge from repeated blows to the head and concussions.

Many of the symptoms linked to CTE, including memory loss and cognitive decline and changes in moods and behavior, are related to symptoms of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and Lou Gehrig’s disease. In fact, people who suffer repeated and traumatic brain injury are statistically at higher risk for developing these neurodegenerative conditions later in life.

“…I lied about my symptoms for five weeks thinking I was doing the right thing,” said Chris Nowinski, a former professional wrestler for World Wrestling Entertainment, who continued to compete despite persistent headaches. “My ignorance cost me my career, cost me at least five years of my health with terrible post-concussion syndrome, and I don’t know what it’s going to cost me in the future. But CTE is what I fear most.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 3.8 million traumatic brain injuries occur each year from sports and recreational activities, and many people are still unaware of the acute symptoms associate with this injury. Read the full article here:

Athletes testify on traumatic brain injury

The NFL concussion studies are shedding light on what many victims of car crashes and other traumatic events already know: there is no such thing as a “minor” brain injury.