Repeated Hits Trigger CTE Even With out Concussion, Research Says

Repeated Hits Trigger CTE Even With out Concussion, Research Says

Repeated Hits Trigger CTE Even With out Concussion, Research Says

New research suggests that chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is caused by repeated head injuries - and not concussions, as previously believed. But, he continued, "its hits to the head that cause CTE". "It's true that there's a lot we don't know about CTE and traumatic brain injury, but what we do know, for certain, is that limiting the number of hits a player takes is a proven way to protect him or her". This explains why around 20% of athletes who showed signs of CTE did not have a history of concussions. In all four brains, there were already changes to the brain that could be indicators of CTE, including leaky blood vessels and abnormal buildups of the protein tau. They noted that as the tau protein accumulated, it would spread and cause more damage.

But researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine have found evidence of CTE in young athletes' brains without signs of concussion, indicating the condition is directly tied to head impacts-but not necessarily concussive hits.

The team began by inspecting the brains of four teenage athletes who died one day, two days, 10 days and four months after suffering serious head injuries.

Researchers took their work a step further and replicated repeated hits to the head and blast exposures with lab mice. Upon scanning the mice's brains, researchers found leakage in the blood vessels of the mice consistent with that of the teenagers with head injuries.

Goldstein also said that protections from brain trauma have been limited.

Researchers say the study shows the strongest evidence yet that CTE can develop in someone who's never had a concussion.

The report was published online January 18 in the journal Brain. Until now, the focus was on any concussions they received.

Sure enough, these deposits appeared to start in the deep recesses of the brain's folds, where the hallmarks of full-fledged CTE are most clearly seen in humans too.

"It advanced our understanding of what is happening at the cellular and even sub-celluar levels in the brain when an impact occurs", said Dr. Comstock.

"The overwhelming majority of people whose brains are hurt are going right back in and doing the worst thing possible: getting hit again and again", Goldstein said.

Goldstein supports a proposal from his colleague, Boston University neurosurgeon Dr. Robert Cantu, who has long advocated that kids under 14 refrain from playing tackle football.

"I think it's just one data point that you need to have in order to make a decision whether your kid should play impact sports or not", he said. They found that even without concussion, the mice exposed to the head trauma still exhibited changes in the brain.

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