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Health advocates, sports fanatics and athletes all might be watching the same news story as of today, with a judge set to consider the 222 lawsuits involving brain injuries among former NFL players.

This isn't the trial, not yet. Instead, the judge first has to decide whether the matter of players' brain injuries belongs in a civil court or whether it must be handled via arbitration due to the league's collective bargaining agreement. The NFL seeks the dismissal of the personal injury lawsuits.

The players behind the negligence allegations against the NFL argue that they played football under the impression that head injuries were not as serious as they have turned out to be. Players who've sustained concussions suffer from depression, dementia and neurological disorders. They argue that the league knew of those risks but purposely hid the true medical facts from the players who deserved to understand what they were risking.


A new study by a leading neurological care center reveals new insights for brain disease. This study may give some hope to California residents who have experienced a brain injury or suffer from brain disease related to impacts to the head.

The study revealed that five former NFL players have signs of a brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which is related to concussions. This study, though small, is the first that might help doctors detect the illness while the patient is still alive.

Previous CTE studies had been done only in autopsies, in which brain cells would be stained and contained in cross sections of the brain to be viewed under a microscope. Signs of CTE would include a buildup of protein clusters.


Former NFL professional athletes across the country have filed more than 80 lawsuits seeking damages for brain injuries suffered on the playing field. All those lawsuits have now been consolidated into one. The common, central message that all the ex-athletes are asserting is that the NFL concealed from them the fact that head trauma suffered during football games frequently leads to brain injuries that are severe and permanent.

The players believe that as a consequence, the NFL should be compelled to provide compensation and expenses for those currently suffering from debilitating neurological conditions, including Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. They also argue that even those who are currently not experiencing such mental difficulties have cause for concern about their future health, and therefore are in dire need of systematic medical monitoring to be paid for by the NFL.

The plaintiffs feel that the NFL glorified the violent aspects of the game while minimizing the risks of concussions and other head traumas caused by repetitive blows to the skull. They say that the league, content to profit from the physical punishment meted out to players, was extremely lax by failing to give them warnings and known information about risks, or to impose safety rules that might have saved some players' brains from cognitive disarray.

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