Check Up from the Neck Up
Insights and perspectives on injury prevention, rehabilitation, health and fitness
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found primarily in athletes with a history of repetitive brain trauma, including symptomatic concussions as well as asymptomatic subconcussive hits to the head. Neuropathologists have published reports stating that retired professional football players and other athletes with a history of repetitive brain trauma have CTE. This trauma triggers progressive degeneration of the brain tissue, including the build-up of an abnormal protein called tau. These changes in the brain can begin months, years, or even decades after the last brain trauma or end of active athletic involvement. The brain degeneration is associated with memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, impulse control problems, aggression, depression, and, eventually, progressive dementia. (BU – Center for the study of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy)
Not what you want to hear before we begin holiday celebrations and sit down to watch hours of bowl games. The only reason that I published this now is to bring attention to the fact that we can beat CTE.
Associated Press AP, December 10, 2013
Almost once a game, an NFL player absorbs an illegal blow to the head or neck that could put his career — or worse — at risk. The NFL has been trying to prevent such blows over the last four years, targeting improper technique and making a point to penalize and fine players for hits that leave them and their opponents vulnerable. Yet an Associated Press review of penalties through the first 11 weeks of the season found those hits are still prevalent.