Posts Tagged ‘chronic traumatic encephalopathy’
Current Concepts in Sports Concussion: The Long-term Effects of Repetitive Mild Head Injuries in Sports
At least 300 000 sports-related concussions occur in the United States annually. With millions of American athletes, the long-term effects of repeated concussion or mild traumatic brain injury are an important topic. Unfortunately, there is a lack of strong data on the causality or prevalence of long-term effects among athletes. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive neurodegenerative tauopathy, with associated clinical, behavioral, and neuropathological findings, is an important clinical entity in need of further study. Diffusion tensor imaging can elucidate trauma-induced white matter damage, but the diagnosis of CTE cannot be proven until postmortem neuropathology shows characteristic neurofibrillary and astrocytic tangles. Concern exists that athletes subject to repeated concussive and even subconcussive blows may be at risk of CTE, but no definitive data exist due to the difficulty in diagnosis. Animal models suggest that mild traumatic brain injuries lead to primarily a metabolic derangement with increased excitotoxic neurotransmitter release, extracellular potassium, and intracellular calcium. Further understanding of the underlying pathophysiology may eventually lead to better therapeutic and diagnostic options for the treating clinician.
Current Concepts in Sports Concussion is online and full-text access is free.
Subtle Effects May Be ‘Precursors’ to Future Concussion-Related Problems
Philadelphia, Pa. (January 25, 2011) – In the wake of recent reports of long-term health effects of repeated concussions in professional athletes, a new study finds increased rates of concussion-related symptoms in high-school athletes with a history of two or more previous concussions. The study will appear in an upcoming issue of Neurosurgery, official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health, a leading provider of information and business intelligence for students, professionals, and institutions in medicine, nursing, allied health, and pharmacy.
Led by Philip Schatz, Ph.D., of Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, the International Brain Research Foundation, Edison NJ, and the Sports Concussion Center of New Jersey, the study suggests that some teen athletes with multiple concussions may already have early signs of post-concussion syndrome. “It appears that youth athletes who sustain multiple concussions experience a variety of subtle effects, which may be possible precursors to the future onset of concussion-related difficulties,” the researchers write. Read the rest of this entry »