Not Just Concussions: Study Suggests All Types of Head Trauma Have Consequences

Imagine you’re at a football game for a local high school team. You’re listening to the marching band play upbeat tunes, squinting at the scoreboard, or enjoying an unhealthy snack from the concession stand when crash! On the field, two players collide, their helmets knocking against each other. The crowd gasps as one player falls to the ground. But in a few seconds, he is on his feet and back in the game, apparently injured. Like everyone else in the crowd, you’re thankful that he doesn’t seem to have a concussion.

Concussions and CTE

You’re right to believe that concussions are terrible injuries. Aside from the short-term symptoms of disorientation, unconsciousness, vomiting, and headaches, concussions are also associated with lingering issues, including chronic trauma encephalopathy (CTE). Most frequently seen among football players, CTE is a degenerative neurological disorder that slowly kills brain cells. It leads to aggression, control issues, cognition and memory problems, and eventually, dementia or even death.  In cases of prominent football players affected by CTE, concussions were assumed to be a major cause.

However, according to new research, head injuries that aren’t concussions shouldn’t be ignored. In fact, they might actually be worse when it comes to long-term damage.

The Dangers of Head Trauma

A recent study, published in a neurological journal called Brain, suggests that repetitive hits to the head that don’t cause concussions are actually a big cause of CTE. The study found that in 20% of known CTE cases, there were no records of concussions. Even in the brains of people who had suffered from mild head trauma, there was an abnormal buildup of tau protein, thought to be an early indicator of CTE.

This potentially means that any kind of repetitive head injuries may have a serious impact on a person’s health. When injuries do not cause typical symptoms, it is usually assumed that the injury isn’t bad— this study shows that it is exactly the opposite.

What Does This Mean for the Future?

The revelations in this study could have a huge impact on the future of contact sports. It raises questions about whether these sports are safe for young people, and what steps we should be taking to prevent head injuries. It also raises concern about vulnerable groups that aren’t athletes, like victims of physical abuse.

Of course, concussions are still a terrible injury, and this new research does not challenge that. However, it shows that we need to be more aware of all types of head injuries. Even a mild injury could have consequences that last for decades.


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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