As a new football season begins, the NFL is promising to pay more attention to the prevalence of traumatic brain injury in the sport. Retired players suffering from traumatic brain injuries have filed two lawsuits in recent months, alleging that the NFL concealed the risk of concussion from players.
Several players suffering from dementia and traumatic brain injuries have died in the past year, bringing more attention to this issue, while autopsies of several players have demonstrated that they suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. CTE is a degenerative disease found in people who have suffered multiple concussions and other head trauma.
Joe Visger, a former 49'ers player, suffers from frontal lobe dementia at the age of 52. He attributes his dementia to the years he played football. As a result, Visger carries around a notebook to remind himself of things throughout the day and must live apart from his family due to violent mood swings. Visger is a plaintiff in one of the lawsuits against the NFL.