AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 1, 2017

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Evidence Suggests Amateur Contact Sports Increases Risk of CTE

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Researchers from Mayo Clinic recently found evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in males who participated in amateur contact sports in their youth. About one-third of the brains donated to the study had evidence of CTE pathology, which can only be diagnosed posthumously. The study, published in the journal Acta Neuropathologica, links amaetuer contact sports (football, boxing, wrestling, rugby, basketball, baseball and others) with the development of CTE. Previous research has focused on CTE and professional athletes. “The 32 percent of CTE we found in our brain bank is surprisingly high for the frequency of neurodegenerative pathology within the general population,” said the study’s lead author. This study is the first to use CTE neuropathologic criteria established by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) earlier this year to look for incidence of the disease in nonprofessional athletes. To read more about this study, click here.

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