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Head Hits And Brain Disease Linked In Wider Study

Concern that head injuries of professional football players can lead to incurable brain disease now includes hockey players, military vets, and college and even high school football players, as seen in the latest study by Boston University researchers who have been on the case for years. The New York Times reports the study, which included brain samples taken posthumously from 85 people who had histories of repeated mild traumatic brain injury, found evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or C.T.E., a degenerative and incurable disease whose symptoms can include memory loss, depression and dementia, in 80 percent of the brains. Six high school football players, nine college football players, seven pro boxers and four N.H.L. players showed signs of C.T.E.  BU Today reports that the researchers also interviewed survivors of the brain donors to learn about behaviors exhibited as the disease progressed. In stage I of the illness, CTE victims suffered headaches and had trouble concentrating and remaining attentive; stage II victims showed depression, explosive tempers, and short-term memory problems; in stage III, cognitive impairment and difficulty with planning, organization, handling multiple tasks, and judgment appeared. The researchers report that by the final stage IV, the patients suffered full dementia. Read more from BU Today.

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