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Study: Disease caused by repeat brain trauma in athletes may affect memory, mood, behavior
Date:8/21/2013

d to an average age of 59 for those with memory and thinking problems.

Almost all people in the mood/behavior group, or 91 percent, experienced symptoms of memory and thinking decline at some point, but fewer in the cognition group experienced mood and behavior symptoms throughout their disease, with 55 percent experiencing behavior symptoms and 64 percent experiencing mood symptoms at some point.

The group that experienced mood symptoms was more explosive, out of control, physically and verbally violent and depressed than the group that experienced memory and thinking deficits, with family members reporting that 73 percent of those in the first group were "explosive," compared to 27 percent in the second group. A total of 64 percent of the first group were described as being "out of control," compared to 27 percent of the second group, and 68 percent were physically violent, compared to 18 percent. A total of 74 percent were verbally violent, compared to 18 percent. And 86 percent had depression, compared to 18 percent of those with memory symptoms.

Stern noted that the findings also should be viewed with caution, as there was no comparison group of former athletes without CTE in the study. In addition, families choosing to participate in the study may have been more likely to witness more severe symptoms than those not participating, which could have affected the results. Stern also added that these findings suggest that the diagnosis of dementia in older individuals with a history of repeat brain trauma may be difficult because many of the symptoms of CTE are similar to other diseases such as Alzheimer's.


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Contact: Maria Pantages Ober
maria.ober@bmc.org
617-638-8496
Boston University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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