Brain Trauma’s Impact On Athletes

Posted on January 20, 2017

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This may be of interest to some of you guys. Earlier today, I posted something about the late hockey player, Derek Boogaard, and his probable struggles with CTE. There has been some follow-up research done that shows CTE impacts athletes differently than the rest of the population. Any profession that runs the risk of head injury can leave people with this debilitating disorder, but athletes – especially football and hockey players – can be especially susceptible. From The Canadian Press:

For the study, published online Wednesday in the journal Neurology, the research team looked at the brains of 36 male athletes, aged 17 to 98, and diagnosed with CTE after death.

Most had played amateur or professional football, while the rest had played hockey or were involved in wrestling or boxing. None of the subjects had other brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.

Researchers interviewed family members about the athletes, asking whether they had developed dementia, changes in thinking, memory, behaviour, mood or the ability to carry out tasks of everyday living. They also reviewed the athletes’ medical records.

Stern said 22 of the athletes exhibited behaviour and mood problems as their first symptoms of CTE, while 11 were initially bothered by memory and cognitive impairments.

Curiously, three of the athletes did not show any signs of CTE before their deaths, although the disease was present in their brains.

“The people with the behavioural and mood symptoms as their presenting problems started to show those problems at a younger age than the people who had the cognitive and memory problems, who presented their difficulties at a later age,” Stern said from Boston.

The complete 2012 study on CTE can be viewed here.

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