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Brain injuries: Concussion, TBI, CTE -- what are the differences?

Much research is being done to find ways in which people in Ontario and elsewhere can be protected from suffering head injuries. Although the emphasis is placed on athletes -- particularly in contact sports like football and hockey -- car accidents, domestic violence and many other causes of brain injuries exist. A new study brought more clarity to the differences between concussion, traumatic brain injuries and chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Researchers determined that, contrary to popular belief, TBI can occur without the presence of a concussion, and not all concussions result in brain injuries. They say a concussion is a syndrome that results from a jolt, rapid movement or strike to the head that causes the shaking of the brain. In contrast, TBI is an event or injury that causes damage to brain tissue rather than a syndrome of which the symptoms are only temporary.

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is unquestionably a neurodegenerative disease that could follow TBI. Researchers say that an injury to the brain can develop into CTE, which will progress regardless of whether subsequent hits to the head are suffered. They say this disease will continue spreading throughout the brain, and merely focusing on concussions will not help coaches and parents to identify CTE.

While many questions remain, and clinicians and researchers continue their endeavours to learn more and find ways in which to prevent brain injuries, victims will continue to suffer the consequences. However, the ongoing costs related to these injuries could be recovered if the injuries were caused by the negligence of another party. A skilled Ontario personal injury lawyer who has specific experience in protecting the rights of brain injury victims can provide the necessary support and guidance to secure recovery of financial and emotional damages.

Source: Toronto Sun, "Hits to the head, not concussions, cause CTE: Study", Jan. 18, 2018

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