Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Is a very serious disease that affects your brain. Often CTE is from hits to the head. Football players and military veterans are the ones most likely to get it. This disease is very dangerous and is life threatening. The side effects of CTE are harmful and make your life very stressful. Some of the side effects are memory loss, confusion impulse control problems, aggression, depression, anxiety, suicidality, and eventually, progressive dementia. Most victims of CTE have heavy suicidal thoughts.
How is CTE linked with football? Well, you get CTE from blows to the head. Concussions make your brain easier to develop CTE. CTE is like living with a big migraine mixed with a concussion. Helmets help prevent CTE but do not cure it. Football is a contact sport so, the more protection you have on your head the better. Doctors say to take as much time off as you can when you have a concussion to make sure that your brain is getting healed right. Taking time off and letting your head heal is the right thing to do so it doesn’t come back and hurt you in the long run.
Today there is no way to tell if you have CTE. There is no test or exam that you can do to see if you have CTE. After you die, a pathologist can do an autopsy and see what you have. Scientists and doctors are trying to discover a test or a way to prove you have CTE. Some doctors think that it is possible to find a cure to this disease but it is going to take a lot of time, money, tests, and hardwork.
Zac Easter was a victim of this terrible Disease. Zac was a normal High Schooler in a small town in Iowa. He was captain of the Indianola football team until CTE took over. Early on on his Junior year he had been diagnosed with a big concussion which sat him out of half of his football games. Later, he returned and played good but he knew something was wrong when he dove into the endzone and got up and his head was twirling and felt sick. He tried to play it off but the next game the athletic trainer pulled him off the field and did a concussion check which he failed. He sat out the rest of his games and thought he was going to get a fresh start playing football next year.
Next year he was playing at a before season game where he tripped and hit another guy head to head which lead to another concussion. He returned a little over half of the season until he was hit and was carried of the field. He later did some research of why he was getting so many concussions and he saw a disease called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. He knew he had this disease because he had all the symptoms so he got help but nothing helped. He tried to commit suicide but he was caught by his father and the police. Zac didn’t think much of himself anymore and his dad tried to help him. Nothing helped him. He took the 20 gauge his dad gave him and shot himself leaving a note that he wanted his brain examined for CTE.
Ms.Backstrom's class has been working on creative writing pieces based around 'big question' research. Take a look at what they've come up with!