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Article Explores the Connection Between Concussion and Off-the-Field Violence

In a recent article in MedPage Today, Managing Editor John Gever writes about the connection between concussion and off-the-field violence.

“It’s now believed that up to one-third of professional football players will develop permanent neurological problems from the countless blows to the head that most experience during their careers,” writes Gever. “In many if not most cases, it will stem from what is now called chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE — a pathology involving tau protein-based lesions and a variety of cognitive impairments, as well as mood and behavior abnormalities.

“In many cases, the latter include violent aggression outside the confines of athletic competition.

“In a seminal 2013 paper, the group led by Boston University’s Ann C. McKee, MD, andRobert C. Cantu, MD, reported on clinical symptoms seen in 36 former athletes with autopsy-confirmed CTE. Mean age at symptom onset among 22 of these individuals who showed primarily mood and behavioral changes was 34.5, with a standard deviation of 11.6. One person first showed such symptoms at 19.

“Although the most widely reported CTE cases — such as that of former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Mike Webster — involved athletes in their 40s and 50s, the Boston group’s report shows that athletes in their 20s and 30s are not immune.”

To see the full article, visit: http://www.medpagetoday.com/Neurology/HeadTrauma/47950

 

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