Research News

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is reported in 25 year old former American football player

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h7027 (Published 05 January 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:h7027
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

A 25 year old man who was repeatedly concussed while playing American football as an amateur and subsequently developed learning and behavioral problems has been found at autopsy to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative disorder associated with repetitive head injury.

The disorder, which currently can be diagnosed only on autopsy, has become a growing concern among young athletes and their families in the United States, owing to an increasing number of reports of it among older National Football League athletes and a heightened awareness of the frequency of concussions among young people playing contact and non-contact sports.

The report comes from the Understanding Neurologic Injury and Traumatic Encephalopathy (UNITE) study (www.bu.edu/alzresearch/ctecenter/cte-center-research/unite-study/), a project designed to develop consensus criteria for the pathological diagnosis of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, establish …

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