The recent death of former NFL linebacker Junior Seau has raised fresh concerns about NFL guidelines pertaining to the treatment of concussions, medically known as mild traumatic brain injuries, and related health effects. In fact, Seau's family has even donated his brain to medical researchers in the hopes of furthering the understanding of the long-term effects of repeated concussions.
In addition to Seau's shocking suicide, the NFL is also contending with the news that some 100 additional players, on top of the more than 1,500 who have already stepped forward, are filing a class-action lawsuit against the league. The former players contend that the league "repeatedly refuted the connection between concussions and brain injury," according to a report by CNN.com. The list of players filing claims against the NFL includes former Probowlers.
Although these headlines might come as a shock to many fans, neurologists and neurosurgeons, particularly those accustomed to dealing with athletes, aren't quite so surprised. As James Johnston Jr., M.D., assistant professor of neurosurgery at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, puts it in a release appearing on Science Daily: