Local health experts weigh in on latest CTE study

Violet Powell
January 20, 2018

Goldstein also said that protections from brain trauma have been limited.

Instead of concerning themselves with the dramatic collisions that cause players to become dizzy, disoriented or even lose consciousness, neuroscientists should be paying attention to the routine hits to the head, according to a study that examines the root cause of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, better known as CTE.

The new research on brain damage was published Thursday in the journal "Brain". The athletes died 1, 2, 10 and 128 days, respectively, after sustaining their injuries. "And that's important, because what it means is for say the people who love football, which is, American football, which is mostly everybody, that concussion protocols may be insufficient to protect the athletes", said Moss.

Get the latest health and science news, plus: burning questions and expert tips. CTE progresses when tau protein accumulates and can cause dementia, mood swings, depression, suicidal thoughts, aggression, and other symptoms. "But the study did show that quite significantly over time even sub-concussion impacts can lead to CTE". "These results were surprising and alarming", says Dr.

Previously, the Boston University's CTE Center found that 110 of 111 former National Football League players whose brains were donated for study had been diagnosed with the disease.

"What is the physiological change causing CTE?" And a separate study of recently deceased athletes in Boston suggests that repeated impacts may trigger changes in the brain, that trigger CTE.

Metro_13hernandez 
Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernanez looks back toward the during his pre-trial motion hearing in the Superior Court in Fall River Mass. Friday Dec. 12 2014. (Robert E. Klein for the Bost

That and other evidence led the researchers to hypothesize that early CTE may result from leaky blood vessels in the brain. Lee Goldstein summed up his results simply and forcefully, telling CNN, "Now we have both the scientific proof, the pathologies to support it, and all the evidence to show that concussion is not linked to long-term neurological disease".

Young children with developing brains are more vulnerable to the effects of head trauma, which can lead to devastating consequences later in life.

"Is that the cause for CTE?"

The NFL would love for you to be focused on concussions.

But, he continued, "its hits to the head that cause CTE".

"I think this study just adds to the conversation", said Dr. Shawn Spooner, a physician at UnityPoint Health. In an ideal world, tackle football would be pushed back until later in adolescence, Goldstein says - your brain continues to develop into your twenties - but he knows such restrictions are unrealistic, given how deeply high school and college football is ingrained in American culture.

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