On Monday July 18th, 2016 over 50 former professional wrestlers filed a class action lawsuit against the WWE alleging that they each suffered “long term neurological injuries” due to the WWE’s absolute failure to treat them in “any medically competent or meaningful manner.” The lawsuit further states that the WWE had “fraudulently misrepresented and concealed” the nature and extent of injuries sustained while wrestling. The injury alleged in the lawsuit is known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE. CTE is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in people with a history of repetitive brain trauma, including symptomatic concussions as well as asymptomatic subconcussive hits to the head.
CTE was originally discovered in boxers in the 1920’s. However, recent studies have found CTE in other professional athletes or anyone who has repeatedly experienced head trauma.
This repeated trauma causes brain degeneration which can be seen in terms of memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, impulse control problems, aggression, depression, and, eventually, progressive dementia. With CTE, symptoms can begin within a few months following the trauma or can begin to develop decades later.