Published: Sat, January 20, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Research provides new insight into head hits, CTE

Research provides new insight into head hits, CTE

Researchers who worked on the study identified evidence of early CTE brain pathology after head impact, even in the absence of signs of concussion.

"On the football field, we're paying attention to the bright, shiny object - concussion - because it's obvious", said Dr. The researchers hypothesized that damaged blood vessels leaking into brain tissue may cause early CTE. They analyzed the brains of four teenager athletes who passed away anywhere from one to 128 days from sustaining "closed-head impact injuries" and recreated head trauma by utilizing lab mice.

"If you bend down and bump your head on the corner of your nightstand, is that instance going to lead to CTE?"

Researchers said the key to reducing risk of CTE is reducing the number of head impacts to athletes and soldiers. "But the study did show that quite significantly over time even sub-concussion impacts can lead to CTE".

CTE can only be diagnosed by examining the brain after death.

The study's authors say about 20 percent of known cases of CTE had no record or report of concussion. Presently, CTE can only be diagnosed in an individual after death, but Stern and his BU colleagues are optimistic the disease can be diagnosed in the living within the next five to 10 years.

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But, he continued, "its hits to the head that cause CTE".

Atlas told me that "part of science is generating new hypotheses" and that he wasn't surprised to see the researchers on this study "running with it as far as they can". And they suggest that people who seem to bounce right back after getting their "bell rung" may well have sustained damage that will not be evident for years.

"I think this study just adds to the conversation", said Dr. Shawn Spooner, a physician at UnityPoint Health.

Goldstein and foundation cofounder Chris Nowinski said that playing flag football before the age 14 would reduce injuries to young players while allowing them to learn the game's fundamentals.

Goldstein said he hoped this new information would be taken into consideration by football policy makers, professional players and parents, noting that it was important to now focus on ways to. Lee Goldstein summed up his results simply and forcefully, telling CNN, "Now we have both the scientific proof, the pathologies to support it, and all the evidence to show that concussion is not linked to long-term neurological disease". "The only correlation we saw was with the hit itself". "And in kids, all the hits should be no hits". But studies like the one published Thursday should help drive the message home. "This is really preserving the future for football".

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