Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) September 25, 2018 – Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) repeatedly sustained in contact sports has long been associated with a higher risk of dementia. Now, a new study suggests that contact sports may also lead to other neuro-degenerative diseases such as Lewy body disease.
The study, run by Boston University School of Medicine researchers, shows that those playing contact sports are more likely to develop Lewy body disease. Lewy body disease results from abnormal structures, Lewy bodies, building up in the brain. The structures are abnormal deposits of the protein alpha-synuclein. They affect brain chemicals and can lead to problems with mood, thinking, movement and behavior.
Symptoms of Lewy body disease may include:
· Changes in attention/alertness
· Muscle stiffness
· Posture/movement issues
· Memory loss
It is difficult to diagnose Lewy body disease as it mimics Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s symptoms. No known cure exists and treatment relies on drugs to control and manage the patients' symptoms.
“This study is unique in that scientists have long thought that the slow movement, tremors and trouble walking that long-term athletes experienced was chalked up to CTE,” said Austin traumatic brain injury attorney, Brooks Schuelke. “According to this latest research, those symptoms may in fact be a byproduct of Lewy body disease — meaning it is independent of CTE.” The results of this study can be found in the Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology.
Study author, Dr. Thor Stein, says, "We found the number of years an individual was exposed to contact sports, including football, ice hockey and boxing, was associated with the development of neocortical [Lewy body disease], and Lewy body disease, in turn, was associated with Parkinsonism and dementia."
According to the research, those who played contact sports for over eight years had the highest risk of developing Lewy body disease. These athletes were six times more likely to sustain the disease than those who played sports for under eight years.
“The results of this study open other doors leading toward the understanding of how dementia takes hold in the world of contact sports,” said Schuelke. “If you suspect you have sustained CTE, our door is open to you. We can discuss the details of your situation, outline your legal rights, and explain how to move forward with a lawsuit, if you so choose.”
Schuelke Law PLLC
3011 N. Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78705
Call (512) 476-4944