Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
CTE LINKED TO PLAYING FOOTBALL
- cerebral atrophy (wasting away)
- cavum septum pellucidum with fenestrations
- shrinkage of the mammillary bodies
- protein deposits of tau
- neurofibrillary tangles
- glial tangles
- neuropil neurites
- axons lose ability to communicate
- build up of the protein TDP-43
- scarring of the brain
Signs and symptoms
- memory loss
- poor memory recall
- suicidal thoughts or actions
- difficulty moving
- motor neuron disease
- trouble speaking
- vision problems
This is usually not accurately diagnosed until after death. However, if symptoms are noticed a doctor should further explore medical history and make recommendations based on the possibility that it could be CTE. According to the Mayo Clinic Staff it might be advised that one
- Take medication such as antidepressants, mood stabilizers or antipsychotics
- eat a healthy diet
- avoid alcohol
- avoid drugs
- work with a therapist
- join a support group (Mayo Clinic Staff, n.d.)
Presently there is no cure. The disease will progress and will progress through these stages. The first stage will present with headaches, poor focus and loss of attention (Mayo Clinic Staff, n.d.) The second stage will bring depression, explosive mood swings and short-term memory loss(Mayo Clinic Staff, n.d.). The third stage will affect execution of decisions and cognitive impairments(Mayo Clinic Staff, n.d.). The Final stage, stage four, brings dementia, speech problems, inability to form words and aggression(Mayo Clinic Staff, n.d.).
Questions from the patient/caretaker
Yes. We can help you look for them but you may also want to do your own research.
Are there any limitations on current activities?
Avoid anything that will cause further head injuries. Do what you feel comfortable doing.
Do I need more tests?
Not at this time but you may in the future, depending on progression.
Mayo Clinic Staff. (n.d.)Chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Retrieved November 11, 2015, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chronic-traumatic-encephalopathy/basics/risk-factors/con-20113581
Rettner, R. (2015, March 17). Chris Borland Leaves NFL: The Science of Football and Brain Injury. Retrieved November 11, 2015, from http://www.livescience.com/50163-football-cte-brain-disease-risk.html