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The physical impact of chronic traumatic encephalopathy

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which is often called CTE, has been in the news a lot lately as it pertains to the NFL. It's a condition originally noted most often in boxers, but it's now being found in many people who have suffered repeated blows to the head. Officially, it's a progressive degenerative disease, and having more of these head injuries - even minor ones - increases the chances a person will have it.

When talking about CTE, people often talk just about the symptoms. These include depression, memory loss, loss of cognitive function, and the like. Essentially, the brain is deteriorating, and many different things that were once easy become difficult. Like many brain injuries, it can impact different people in different ways.

One thing that is interesting to note, though, is the actual physical impact of CTE on the body. Some examples include:

- Some parts of a patient's brain can actually lose mass over time. - Conversely, other parts will grow enlarged. - Still other parts of the brain could begin to show signs of atrophy. - Tau protein can build up to dangerous levels in certain areas of the brain. This can interfere with neuron function.

A lot is still being learned about CTE and the link to concussions, but these physical changes show the true scope of the problem. Clearly, this is about more than simple bruising on the brain - a concussion - that heals in a short time. It can have a life-altering impact and may never heal. Therefore, if you're suffering from CTE, you need to know what rights you could have to compensation.

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