New study shows risk of football players developing CTE - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

New study shows risk of football players developing CTE

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

In a study, just recently published, researchers at Boston University took a look at the brains of deceased football players. 99 percent of them had a disease called CTE, caused by repeated head trauma, but local experts are confident in new preventative measures.

Concussions are a risk of the game, but if you get too many, you're at risk for developing CTE or Chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

It's a neurodegenerative brain disease that can disable neuro pathways and lead to a variety of clinical symptoms like memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, aggression, depression, anxiety, impulse control issues and sometimes suicidal behavior.

Even though the study looks grim, it doesn't mean every player will develop CTE, the brains in the study were donated by families who strongly suspected the players had brain damage.

Lake Charles Memorial Sports Medicine Director, Jamey Rasberry, sees very little reason to worry about this because of the way Louisiana looks at concussion treatment.

“We are fortunate enough to have a youth concussion law that we have to follow, stating how we have to manage a concussion if an athlete sustains one and it's a safer way to manage one than it was in past years,” said Rasberry.

Since Rasberry started in 2001 he says concussion management has improved, especially with the development of the impact test.

“We baseline test our kids and give them a cognitive test and they get a number and we use that number,” said Rasberry. “If they sustain a concussion, we give them another test before they return to play and we see if those two numbers coincide to see if their cognitive functions are back to normal.”

Also, huge advances in equipment give players an edge.

With growing concern about head injuries Mike Cutrera, the Head Coach at Barbe says of course parents are concerned but there's been no decrease in players, parents have faith in the program.

“We teach the right technique and have the proper equipment and the kids know how to use it,” said Cutrera. “There's more medical staff on our sidelines and they are very up to date on it and they watch for those types of things, so those kids are in good hands.”

Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved. 

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