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Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Now Found In Combat Veterans


Traumatic brain injuries as they occur in NFL players have received widespread attention of late, especially in conjunction with a condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disorder typically caused by sustaining multiple concussions which leads to severe depression, memory loss, and sometimes severe aggression/anger issues. CTE has landed a number of these players in jail or permanently injured for life; some have even taken their own lives.

However, the issue has received less attention with respect to the number of combat veterans and soldiers who come home every year suffering from this same condition. CBS News 60 Minutes recently featured a story on this issue and the fact that, just since 9/11, more than 300,000 soldiers have returned home with these significant brain injuries.

How It Happens

Where researchers have found that a majority of ex-NFL players deceased suffered from CTE (specifically, 110 out of 111 tested), they are now finding similar patterns in deceased veterans who experienced combat blasts and related head trauma. According to the experts, blast injuries can cause a ricochet or whiplash-like injury to the brain inside the skull, leading to a similar type of injury as someone who continues to hit his head via repeated impacts, leading to concussions. As a result, a number of families have lost sons, husbands, wives, daughters, and other family members after a number of them were exposed to numerous combat blasts –  sometimes as a result of roadside bombs – loved ones who then return home as different people. Regardless of medication and therapy, their health can decline quickly, leaving some unable to eat, speak, or walk on their own.

Is This Just Another Assumed Injury That Comes With The Job?

As a society, we were aware of these types of injuries (known as “shell shock”) during World War I, but assumed that the sophisticated armor of the modern age allowed soldiers to experience these same events and, instead, walk away without immediately dying or suffering physical and psychological trauma as a result.

But is this a good enough excuse? A number of scientists and other experts have been aware of military-related traumatic brain injuries and neurodegeneration for years; is it possible that we simply have not provided enough protection for our veterans? Many who joined the armed services were prepared for the injuries that might come – including loss of limbs, or losing their eyesight – but few were prepared for the possibility of losing their minds, one day at a time.

Maryland Personal Injury, Workplace Accident, and Wrongful Death Attorneys

If you or a loved one has suffered due to a traumatic brain injury, you should speak with an experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorney right away in order to ensure that you are protected. Similar to any other form of negligence, if your loved one was put in harm’s way because someone else failed to act reasonably in ensuring their protection, you can seek compensation for your loss. Contact our Baltimore-based injury attorneys at the Law Office of Hasson D. Barnes, LLC today to find out how we can help.




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