The Negative Effect of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy on Nfl Athletes

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Many Americans idolize the National Football League and the players but would that all change when they are introduced to the silent killer of their idols. “Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a degenerative brain disease found in athletes, military veterans, and others with a history of repetitive brain trauma. In CTE, a protein called Tau forms clumps that slowly spread throughout the brain, killing brain cells” (Concussion Legacy Foundation, n.d). While this disease has been seen in the United States since the late nineteen-twenties by “Martland as Punch-Drunk Syndrome…later was coined as Dementia Pugilistica” (Tharmaratan T, June 2018), it was not until recently that it was named as a cause of death in many football veterans. The death of brain cells can lead to many diseases that cause the early death of athletes three of the main topics that relate the most to Psychology are Memory, Personality, and Psychological Disorders.

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Psychological Connections of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

Memories are cherished deeply, one of the saddest moments is seeing someone lose a little bit of themselves when they cannot remember a significant date. Due to the Tau protein killing the braincells and literally turning the functioning brain into a dead muscle that has no purpose for a person. While many scientists believe there are studies that can reintroduce memories but, due to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, the striatum is damaged memories can not be retrieved or even processed.

the hippocampus is disconnected from the amygdala and hyphat are all key roles in memory formation and retention.

Guidelines: Saving Lives or Taking Up Space?

Between the years 2011 and 2012, more than two-thousand three-hundred, former players filed lawsuits against the National Football League. The lawsuits claimed that the NFL “caused and contributed to the increased risk of latent brain injury, failed to take appropriate steps to prevent and mitigate repeated traumatic head injuries (including sub-concussive blows and concussions) and the latent brain injury” (Drysdale, Thomas A. Helmet-to-Helmet Contact: Avoiding a Lifetime Penalty by Creating a Duty to Scan Active NFL Players for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy). This means that there was some action taken to hold the National Football League accountable for the injuries and lifetime style, that athletes did not ask for. There are moments when the NFL does not have guidelines referring to the fact that during playoffs there are major discrepancies that seem to not matter for the rest of the normal season. Before playoff qualification the teams receive and during the regular season, bi-weeks, which grants them one week without a game, which is when many athletes finally take an off day to deal with their physical problems:

The NFL’s numbers on reductions in concussions are, at best, suspect due to discrepancies in the way teams list and report concussions. The discrepancies are caused by the process through which concussion statistics are gathered from the weekly injury reports released by individual NFL teams, these reports fail to account for any concussions that a player may suffer that week before a bye, where he can recover enough to avoid being listed on the team’s injury report the next week. Furthermore, unless a team makes the playoffs, no concussion statistics are gathered from the last week of the season, meaning players from 20 teams go unreported in the season totals at the end of the year. (Drysdale. pg. 443)

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