Possible Link Found Between Concussions And ALS

You’ve probably seen the footage of New York Yankees legend Lou Gehrig giving his poignant retirement speech in 1939. Gehrig was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an incurable, fatal brain disease which became known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The field of traumatic brain injury is benefiting from a substantial amount of ongoing investigation conducted by medical experts. Boston University researchers, for example, are now suggesting that ALS may be concussion related. They apparently found a large amount of an abnormal protein called TDP-43 in the brain and spinal cord of two former football players and one boxer all of who suffered from ALS.  The common denominator among all three was a history of repeated blows to the head. It turns out that Gehrig, too, was apparently hospitalized three and four times with major concussions. It’s too early to tell if there is a direct link, so more research will be necessary, but one of the researchers told CNN the following:

Is there a possibility that Lou Gehrig did have this new disease instead of sporadic ALS? It is possible but we really will never know. What’s important to know is that Lou Gehrig, like so many athletes, went back to play over and over again with a repetitive head injury. We know that’s not good.

As a practical matter, most Hoosiers are more likely to “get their bell rung” in a car wreck or in slip-and-fall accidents than in competitive sports. If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident involving a blow to the head, see your doctor immediately, and follow the medical advice given. If the condition was the result of an injury caused by the negligence of someone else, legal representation is also important. Contact the experienced Indiana personal injury lawyers at Young & Young in Indianapolis for a private, confidential, and free consultation.

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