Tackling the Risks of the Game: What Football, Concussions, and Memory Care have in Common

Fall weekends bring the ritual of watching your favorite football teams crashing into their opponents. While tuning in this year, you may have noticed more attention being paid to the dangers of concussions. Earlier this year, the NFL revised the concussion protocol for players. Teams incur fines when they do not adhere to these new rules (Belson, 2016).

Despite these rule changes, the NFL and other sports leagues have been under scrutiny for their generally lax attitude toward brain health as films like “Concussion” have raised public awareness on the issue. Whatever the NFL knew or denied in previous years, the organization did acknowledge a link between playing football and the brain disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) earlier this year. According to reporting from PBS Frontline (Breslow, 2016), “”Dr. Ann McKee, a neuropathologist at Boston University has diagnosed CTE in 90 out of the former 94 NFL players she’s examined.”

CTE, discovered by Dr. Bennet Omalu, a Nigerian-American physician, is a condition caused by repeated blows in the head or concussions. Those most at risk include professional athletes, combat veterans, and even those who participate in youth sports. According to the Alzheimer’s Association (2016), symptoms of CTE are similar to other types of dementia and can include:

  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Personality changes (including depression and suicidal thoughts)
  • Erratic behavior (including aggression)
  • Problems paying attention and organizing thoughts
  • Difficulty with balance and motor skills


For anyone who has been a caregiver for someone with dementia, it is clear that CTE can bring many challenges to a family, especially when there is still no clear diagnosis or treatment available for this disease.

This is where Gianna Homes hopes to help. As more information about CTE is discovered, the need for expert help and a peaceful care environment continue to rise. Our highly trained staff and welcoming homes can help people with all types of dementia and their families navigate these difficult changes. Our staff has significant experience with behavioral issues surrounding dementia. Gianna Homes is one of the few places you may be able to find the care, high staffing ratios and patience it takes to accommodate residents with behavioral issues as are sometimes found in CTE patients.

As professionals continue to uncover the facts surrounding CTE, Gianna Homes is committed to the highest level of education and support for our staff, residents, and residents family and friends.

If you have questions about memory care, CTE and what we can do to help you and your loved one, contact Gianna Homes.


Alzheimer’s Association. (2016). Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). Retrieved from http://www.alz.org/dementia/chronic-traumatic-encephalopathy-cte-symptoms.asp


Belson, K. (2016, July 26). NFL Introduces New Rules to Back Its Concussion Protocol. New York Times, Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/26/sports/football/nfl-concussion-protocol-new-rules.html?_r=0


Breslow, J. (2016, March 15). NFL Acknowledges a Link Between Football, CTE. Frontline. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/nfl-acknowledges-a-link-between-football-cte/