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How Head Trauma can affect the brain signs of CTE

October 21, 2022by admin0

Traumatic Brain Injury (commonly abbreviated “CTE”) can occur when a person suddenly has a head injury caused by an external object. However, not all head injuries will result in CTE. It can occur if an object hits the head hard or if something punctures the skull to the brain. Either of these experiences can damage brain cells and blood vessels as well as a person’s physical and cognitive functioning.

Dementia, or “pugilistic neurocognitive disorder” and “traumatic boxer’s encephalopathy” are the two terms used to describe a TBI caused by repeated brain damage from playing a heavy contact sport, such as boxing or football.

Awareness has grown about the potential risk of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a chronic brain injury. CTE appears to be caused, at least in part, by repeated head trauma. Such repetitive injuries may be the result of military service or contact sports such as American football.

There is much that researchers still do not understand about the exact causes of CTE and the specific factors that put people most at risk.

However, there is a growing consensus that even relatively small injuries that initially cause relatively few symptoms can cause damage.

The causes of CTE are not well understood. However, repeated head trauma is believed to play a role. Microscopically, certain proteins begin to accumulate abnormally in the brain (such as tau and TDP-43). There is currently no test that can be used to diagnose CTE in living people. It can only be diagnosed by examining the brain after death.

In particular, symptoms of CTE appear years after physical trauma, such as in retired football players. However, it is important to note that everyone who experiences the effects of a repetitive head injury appears to get CTE.

Causes of the disease

CTE, traditionally associated with boxers, occurs when repeated blows to the head cause brain damage. The disease can cause symptoms such as learning difficulties, memory disorders, impaired executive function, depression and suicidal thoughts.

In a person with CTE, brain injuries lead to the release of an abnormal protein known as tau, which gradually builds up in the brain and damages brain cells. Similar proteins are found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. However, in people with CTE, tau builds clumps from the base of the wrinkly surface of the brain, while in people with Alzheimer’s, the protein is more evenly distributed and is found deeper in the tissue.

Today, the disease is perhaps mostly associated with soccer players, but recent research suggests those soccer players, wrestlers, soldiers, and even those participating in weaker sports such as football and rugby can also develop the disease.

In recent years, several high-profile suicides have called more attention to brain disease. In 2011, Dave Duerson, a retired NFL football player, shot himself in the chest and, in the final act of his family, asked that his brain tissue be tested for the disease. An autopsy revealed signs of CTE in his brain. Junior Seau, another former NFL star who committed suicide, also contracted CTE.

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