Posted On: October 31, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

Does Playing NFL Football Cause Long-Term Head Injuries?

On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee listened to retired NFL football players talk about how years of getting hit on the head while playing the game has caused them to struggle with depression, homelessness, memory problems, and the ability to complete simple tasks. Some researchers are even drawing a link between professional football and memory-related diseases, including dementia. According to a study conducted at the University of Michigan, retired pro football players may have a six times greater incidence rate when it comes to suffering from dementia compared to the rest of the population.

Boston University School of Medicine Chris Nowinski says striking one’s head thousands of time while playing football can cause a disease that kills brain cells. Neuropathologist Dr. Anne McKee, who had had examined the brains of numerous professional and college football players, said 11 of her subjects exhibited brain degradation, memory loss, and emotional issues prior to their deaths.

Also attending the hearing was NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. He pointed out the improvements the NFL has made, including better helmet technology and banning certain kinds of physical hits. He refused to acknowledge a direct connection between playing football and brain disorders.

Regardless, hitting your head or having your head struck can result in serious head injuries and traumatic brain injuries. Depending on the seriousness of the head injury or TBI, it can also lead to long-term disabilities, impairment of the senses, language difficulties, problems being able to reason, emotional problems, social inappropriateness, epilepsy, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s disease, coma, and death.

In this state, NFL players are entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits.

NFL head injuries a hot topic in Congress, Los Angeles Times, October 29, 2009

House Judiciary Committee Hearing Calls Attention to Long-Term Effects of Head Injury Among NFL Players, Reuters, October 28, 2009

Related Web Resources:
National Football League

Illinois Workers' Compensation Act

Contact our Chicago, Illinois workers’ compensation law firm about your case.

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