According to the Boston University CTE Center, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a degenerative brain disease found in athletes, military veterans. The condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) was formerly believed to exist primarily among boxers, and was referred to as dementia. What is CTE and Why Athletes Need to Know About It. It's a brain disease caused by repeated head injuries that may include concussions. Repeated brain injuries can lead to a buildup of tau, a protein that’s found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.
Exactly CTE? What Is
All that sloshing around can lead to a buildup of an abnormal protein called tau, which can take over parts of the brain. The tragedy of Fred McNeill. People like to point to safer helmets as a solution, but helmets can't do anything to protect your brain from sub-concussive hits.
Imagine your brain like an egg; the shell is the helmet; the yolk is your brain. Just because you have a thicker shell, like an egg carton, doesn't protect the yolk from moving back and forth whenever the egg is shaken or moved around.
Football players aren't the only ones who need to worry about CTE. Despite all the talk about football players, they aren't the only ones concerned about CTE. The disease has been diagnosed in soccer and baseball players , and possibly even in military veterans.
In fact, the first mention of CTE was a disease in boxers called "dementia pugilistica" or "punch-drunk" syndrome in a issue of the Journal of American Medical Association. The article said, "For some time, fans and promoters have recognized a peculiar condition occurring among prize fighters which, in ring parlance, they speak of as 'punch drunk.
CTE stands for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative disease associated with repeated head trauma. Scientists believe repeated head trauma can cause CTE, a progressive degenerative disease of the brain. Symptoms include depression, aggression and disorientation, but scientists can definitively diagnose it only after death.
Charles "Bubba" Smith , a former football player and actor who died in , was also diagnosed with CTE. However, an autopsy confirmed that he suffered from CTE. What makes McNeill's case even more remarkable, though, is that he was potentially the first to be diagnosed while alive. Doctors used an experimental new technology to examine his brain. Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend before killing himself in December Pathology reports show he probably had CTE.
An individual with CTE may mistakenly ascribe the symptoms to the normal process of aging, or might receive a wrong diagnosis due to the fact that many of the symptoms are similar to other conditions such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease.
CTE has been diagnosed in several notable cases which received widespread media attention, including the suicide deaths of NFL player Junior Seau, and professional wrestler Chris Benoit who committed suicide after murdering his wife and son. The condition has so far only been diagnosable through the post-mortem examination of the brain of an individual suspected of suffering from CTE. A grant provided by our organization, however, made possible a recent UCLA study which appears to have opened the door to being able to diagnose CTE in living test subjects, by identifying concentrations of tau protein.
With diagnostic tests which can identify the signs of early onset CTE, it would be possible to screen professional athlete, military personnel and others who are at risk for developing this condition so as to safeguard their future health and happiness. We are working tirelessly to discover further information which will make it possible to diagnose CTE among the living, as well as to find a way to treat the condition.
Our work is not funded by the NFL or other professional sports organizations - in fact, the NFL initially attacked our claims that concussions suffered while playing football could cause CTE. Instead, we are supported through fundraising and donations. Contact us now to learn more about our work and to find out how you can help. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Explained The condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy CTE was formerly believed to exist primarily among boxers, and was referred to as dementia pugilistica.
Symptoms of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy The symptoms of CTE can be debilitating and may have life-changing effects for both the individual and for his or her family.
This can be associated with a buildup of a protein known as tau, which may have a role in cell death. The loss of these cells can interfere with healthy brain function, causing neurological changes that include memory loss, depression, aggressiveness, and balance and movement problems. It is possible that several types of head injuries can lead to tau accumulation in the brain, including:. CTE can only be definitively diagnosed in an autopsy after the person has died.
The doctor will learn the personal history and analyze the brain tissue of deceased people who have shown symptoms of the condition. A specific pattern of tau protein in the brain can confirm the diagnosis. Researchers are working to develop diagnostic tests to officially identify CTE while people are still alive. Because CTE can only be diagnosed after the person has died, treatment can be challenging. Treatment for people who have symptoms of CTE include:. People who learn ways to deal with the symptoms of CTE often have an improved quality of life, including less pain, improved memory and fewer mood swings.
You can lessen your risk of CTE by reducing the number of times you take a hit to the head. Taking proper care of brain trauma when it occurs can also help prevent the condition. Many people who show signs of CTE live healthy and fulfilling lives.
Regular exercise and good nutrition can help manage symptoms, including pain and stress. People can use many strategies to deal with behavioral symptoms associated with CTE.
What Is CTE?
What exactly is CTE? It is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that has a distinct pathology when viewed under the microscope, including. Ways to prevent CTE may not be exactly clear at this time, Dr. Spooner encourages parents, athletes and others to stay aware and educate themselves through. CTE is a degenerative brain condition that has been found in the brains of professional football players and boxers, according to news reports.