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In this case series of 152 contact sport athletes younger than 30 years at the time of death, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) was found in 63 (41.4%), with nearly all having mild CTE (stages I and II).
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a neurodegenerative disease associated with a history of repetitive head impacts (RHI). To better understand the strength of evidence underlying the possible causal relationship between RHI and CTE, we examined the medical literature through the Bradford Hill criteria for causation.
After fighters' cessation of RHI exposure, cognitive function and brain thickness measures may stabilize and blood NfL levels may decline. This study could be a starting point to identify potential predictors of individuals who are at a higher risk of RHI-related long-term neurologic conditions.
A Harvard Medical School study published in Nature Communications shows a molecular relationship between TBI and CTE but also a possible treatment mechanism — just not one that can be used to treat humans quite yet.
It is increasingly recognized that moderate to severe traumatic brain injury increases the risk for dementia in older adulthood. Whether mild TBI is associated with increased risk of dementia is less clear, especially because fewer prospective studies have focused on mild TBI. This is an important gap in the field, especially because concussion is relatively common, among both the general population and certain groups such as athletes and military service members.
According to a national poll, a majority of Americans say they believe concussions and brain injuries resulting from sports are a major problem and leagues like the NFL are not doing enough to respond.
A Mayo Clinic study links amateur contact sports — football, boxing, wrestling, rugby, basketball, baseball and others played while in school — with the development of CTE, which when severe can affect mood, behavior, and cognition.