CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) on the rise
January 28, 2013 Jim Mackie, M.Ed., ATC, LAT
I recently spoke to a fellow colleague and discussion progressed to some of the former athletes we have worked with who are beginning to develop a chronic diminishing quality of life along with signs & symptoms of concussions received while in college. CTE or Chronic Traumatic Encephalitis is now surfacing and researchers are studying this more in the living and deceased athletes. This is a serious condition and we pray for the best outcomes and their families. Providing a good support group of friends and family is essential to their progress. Hopefully through research and promoting increased safety in sports we can see a reduction in this condition in all athletes.
More on CTE for Wikipedia:
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative disease, usually diagnosed postmortem in individuals with a history of multiple concussions and other forms of head injury. A variant of the condition, dementia pugilistica (DP), is primarily associated with boxing. CTE has been most commonly found in professional athletes participating in American football, ice hockey, professional wrestling and other contact sports who have experienced head trauma. It has also been found in soldiers exposed to a blast or a concussive injury, in both cases resulting in characteristic degeneration of brain tissue and the accumulation of tau protein. Individuals with CTE may show symptoms of dementia, such as memory loss, aggression, confusion and depression, which may appear within months of the trauma or many decades later.
Repeated concussions and injuries less serious than concussions (“sub-concussions”) incurred during the play of contact sports over a long period can result in CTE. The brain changes in CTE and DP are similar and are delayed effects of repeated concussions and sub-concussions of the brain. In the case of blast injury, a single exposure to a blast and the subsequent violent movement of the head in the blast wind can cause the condition.