Chronic traumatic encephalopathy in 25-year-old former football player

January 4, 2016, The JAMA Network Journals

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a neurodegenerative disorder associated with repetitive head impacts and can be diagnosed only by autopsy after death.

In an article published online by JAMA Neurology, Ann C. McKee, M.D., and Jesse Mez, M.D., M.S., of the Boston University School of Medicine, and coauthors write an observation letter about CTE pathology in a 25-year-old former who experienced more than 10 concussions while playing football, the first occurring when he was 8 years old.

The authors note that, to their knowledge, this is the first autopsy-confirmed case to include to document the type of cognitive issues that present with CTE. The young man played football for 16 years, beginning when he was 6 and including three years of Division I college football. During his freshman year of college, he experienced a concussion with momentary loss of consciousness followed by headaches, neck pain and other symptoms that included difficulty with memory and concentration. He stopped playing football in his junior year because of ongoing symptoms, began failing his classes and eventually left school before earning a degree.

The player, who had a family history of addiction and depression, later had difficulty maintaining a job and began using marijuana to help headaches and anxiety and to help him sleep. He died of cardiac arrest that was secondary to Staphylococus aureus endocarditis.

Explore further: Football great Frank Gifford had brain disease

More information: JAMA Neurol. Published online January 4, 2016. DOI: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2015.3998.

Related Stories

Football great Frank Gifford had brain disease

November 26, 2015
(HealthDay)—The family of National Football League Hall of Famer Frank Gifford announced Wednesday that he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) prior to his death.

'Concussion' doctor aiding marijuana-based research company

November 3, 2015
The doctor portrayed in the upcoming football movie "Concussion" is on the board of a company looking for a marijuana-based treatment for head injuries.

Researchers find 96 percent of deceased NFL players had CTE

September 21, 2015
(HealthDay)—The latest data from a brain bank that focuses on traumatic head injury show that 87 of 91 deceased former National Football League (NFL) players tested positive for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

A call for more research on brain damage in American football

March 24, 2015
More research is needed to identify how athletes sustain brain injury from American football, and also to develop strategies to protect them, write experts in The BMJ today.

Student co-authors new scientific paper on concussions in athletes

December 10, 2015
In the fall of her first year at Brandeis, Madeline Engeler '16 was elbowed in the head while warming up before a varsity volleyball match. She fell, then got up, and later competed in the match. A few hours later, she was ...

Head injuries could result in neurodegenerative disease in rugby union players

May 22, 2015
A new article publishing online today in the Quarterly Journal of Medicine has reported the first case showing an association between exposure to head injuries in rugby union players and an increased risk in neurodegenerative ...

Recommended for you

The brain's frontal lobe could be involved in chronic pain, according to research

May 25, 2018
A University of Toronto scientist has discovered the brain's frontal lobe is involved in pain transmission to the spine. If his findings in animals bear out in people, the discovery could lead to a new class of non-addictive ...

Aggression neurons identified

May 25, 2018
High activity in a relatively poorly studied group of brain cells can be linked to aggressive behaviour in mice, a new study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows. Using optogenetic techniques, the researchers were able ...

Doctors fail to flag concussion patients for critical follow-up

May 25, 2018
As evidence builds of more long-term effects linked to concussion, a nationwide study led by scientists at UCSF and the University of Southern California has found that more than half of the patients seen at top-level trauma ...

Bursts of brain activity linked to memory reactivation

May 24, 2018
Leading theories propose that sleep presents an opportune time for important, new memories to become stabilized. And it's long been known which brain waves are produced during sleep. But in a new study, researchers set out ...

Study suggests brainwave link between disparate disorders

May 24, 2018
A brainwave abnormality could be a common link between Parkinson's disease, neuropathic pain, tinnitus and depression—a link that authors of a new study suggest could lead to treatment for all four conditions.

Researchers define molecular basis to explain link between a pregnant mother's nutrition and infant growth

May 24, 2018
For years, pregnant mothers have questioned their nutritional habits: "Will eating more cause my baby to be overweight?" Or, "I'm eating for two, so it won't hurt to have an extra serving, right?"

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.