Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a serious problem for football players, but minor head injuries could also pose serious problems to athletes’ brains health, say scientists. The NFL is facing mounting evidence that links head injuries to CTE, the condition that afflicts athletes as a result of severe or repeated traumatic brain injury. Thanks to rapidly developing CTE research and high-profile case studies like that of former New England Patriots tight-end Aaron Hernandez, whose CTE symptoms were startling in severity, we already know a lot about CTE and its effects, which includes dementia, aggression, and depression.
But it turns out that even the more minor head injuries can affect brain functions, too. At the annual meeting for the Society for Neuroscience, in Washington, D.C., scientists presented research that adds to the ever-growing list of consequences that can arise as a direct result of head injuries. Here’s yet another new issue the NFL — and maybe FIFA and the U.S. Military — will have to address eventually.