Adrian Robinson

Football concussions send shocks through families

Football concussions send shocks through families

In basketball, it's the squeak of shoes on hardwood and a bouncing ball. In football, the most recognized sounds of the game are loud clacks of bodies hitting bodies, helmets hitting helmets — heads hitting heads.

Those hits may be entertaining, but they can cause serious brain damage, known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease whose symptoms include confusion, mood swings, impaired judgment and eventually dementia.

The disease has led to a rash of suicides by young and middle-aged men who were once football's (and hockey's) most celebrated players. With the acknowledgment that CTE is widespread — and the Christmas Day release of the movie...