The New Dementia Attacking Athletes

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Updated: 12/02/2011 1:46 pm
The brain child of a former professional wrestler…has athletes promising to donate their brains to fight the new dementia.

The progressive degenerative disease of the brain in athletes with a history of repetitive brain trauma is known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. It was originally introduced as the term punch-drunk in 1928 due to repeated blows to the head professional boxers endured.  Then it became known as dementia pugilistica and the psychopathic deterioration of pugilists- a pugilist is a boxer.  The Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University is currently recruiting athletes to donate their brains in order to study, understand and hopefully find a way to reverse the effects of CTE.  CTE is known to cause memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, impulse control problems, aggression, depression and eventually, progressive dementia.

(SOURCE : www.bu.edu )

 

CAUSES:  CTE is caused by repetitive head injuries, in which the trauma triggers progressive degeneration of the brain tissue, including the buildup of an abnormal protein called tau. 

(SOURCE: www.bu.edu )

 

SYMPTOMS:  CTE has three different stages.  The first stage is characterized by effective disturbances and psychotic symptoms.  The second stage shows signs of social instability, erratic behavior, memory loss and initial symptoms of Parkinson's disease.  The third stage consists of general cognitive dysfunction progressing to dementia and is often accompanied by full blown Parkinson's, as well as speech and walking abnormalities.

(SOURCE : www.bu.edu )

 

APPLICATION: The VA CSTE Brain Bank was established in 2008 at the Bedford Veterans Administration Medical Center in Bedford, MA.  Brain donations of the deceased are accepted in order to study the tissue and spinal cord to better understand the effects of trauma on the human nervous system.  It would help to establish a diagnostic test for living persons with CTE, genetic risk factors, environmental risk factors and treatment for CTE.

(SOURCE : www.bu.edu  )

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
The Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy
(617) 638-6143

 

 

If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marsha Hitchcock at mhitchcock@ivanhoe.com.



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