Navigation Links
Study casts doubt on theory that retired NFL players suffer CTE
Date:1/27/2014

MAYWOOD, Il. The media have widely reported that a debilitating neurological condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a well-established disease in retired athletes who played football and other contact sports. But a study by a Loyola University Medical Center neuropsychologist has found little evidence that CTE actually exists.

"There has not yet been one controlled epidemiological study looking at the risk of late-life cognitive impairment in any collision sport, including boxing, American football or other sports involving repetitive head trauma," Christopher Randolph, PhD, reports in the peer-reviewed journal Current Sports Medicine Reports.

CTE is said to be the cause of behavioral symptoms such as anger, aggression and suicidality, and cognitive symptoms such as impaired learning and memory problems. CTE is thought to be linked to concussions and characterized by the build-up of abnormal substances in the brain called tau proteins.

A 2005 study, co-authored by Randolph, reported that rates of mild cognitive impairment among retired NFL players seemed to be higher than that of the general population. But Randolph noted there were no controls in this study, and results may have been subject to reporting bias.

A more recent study of retired NFL players found that rates of Alzheimer's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease) were higher than that of the general population. But this may be due to the fact that the NFL players had lower overall mortality rates from heart disease and other causes. Since they lived longer, the players naturally would be more likely to get age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.

In addition to having much lower overall mortality rates than the general population, retired NFL players are only 40 percent as likely to die of suicide as men in the general population, according to a 2012 study. It is difficult to reconcile this finding with the high rate of suicide that is said to be a key feature of CTE.

"Overall, although retired NFL players have been the focus of more attention into the potential late-life neurological consequences of repetitive head trauma than athletes in any other sport, the risks for these retirees remains largely hypothetical," Randolph writes.

The list of symptoms that have been associated with CTE "is so broad as to be essentially meaningless in any attempt to define a clinical syndrome," Randolph writes. Some of these symptoms are found in the healthy population, while other symptoms have been observed in a variety of neurological diseases. The broad range of CTE symptoms includes attention problems, paranoia, executive impairments, suicidality, memory loss, language impairment, visuospatial impairment, apathy, gait disturbance, dysarthria (speech disorder), parkinsonism, post-traumatic stress disorder, headache, depression, impulsivity, explosivity and aggression.

Randolph concludes: "CTE has received substantial media attention and appears to have entered the American lexicon as a verifiable disease, despite a lack of clear epidemiological data on increased risk of dementia in boxers or football players, a lack of controlled pathological studies to substantiate neuropathological finding as occurring at an increased rate in these retired athletes, a lack of consistent pathological criteria and a lack of specific clinical criteria for diagnosis."

Randolph calls for a carefully controlled epidemiological study. Such a study would, for example, compare a large, randomly selected sample of retired NFL players to a sample of demographically matched men who had not played football or other collision sports. If such a study found retired players were at higher risk of neurological problems, the players then could be followed over time, with further imaging and neuropathological investigations to characterize any identified disorders.

The study is titled "Is Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy a Real Disease?"

Randolph is a professor in the Department of Neurology of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jim Ritter
jritter@lumc.edu
708-216-2445
Loyola University Health System
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study Suggests Vaccine May Help Kids With Brain Cancer
2. Study reveals how cancer drug causes diabetic-like state
3. Coffee Drinking in Pregnancy Wont Lead to Sleepless Baby: Study
4. Lower GI problems plague many with rheumatoid arthritis, Mayo Clinic study finds
5. Veggies Like Broccoli, Cabbage May Help Fight Breast Cancer: Study
6. No Added Cancer Risk From Hip Replacement Materials: Study
7. Reported Decline in U.S. Pneumonia Deaths May Be False: Study
8. Early Study Finds Some Promise for Lung Cancer Vaccine
9. Narcissists Often Ace Job Interviews, Study Finds
10. Sexual objectification of female artists in music videos exists regardless of race, MU study finds
11. Soy may alleviate hot flashes in menopause, large-scale study finds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2017)... ... ... The weather is heating up and the days are getting longer, providing the ... the summer months provide more than warmer temperatures that are perfect for BBQ’s and ... from direct exposure to the sun. When it comes to the security of homes ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... The ... launch of Care Management Alerts and Dashboards, an innovative new service enabling healthcare ... , RIQI’s Care Management Alerts and Dashboards provide near real-time data about patients ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2017 , ... By ... earned its ninth consecutive four-star rating from premier online charity evaluator, Charity Navigator, validating ... the top 1% of all charities reviewed by Charity Navigator and earns ANRF a ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... ... show evidence that carotenoids and antioxidants derived either from the diet or from supplements ... often do ophthalmologists and optometrists in Sweden recommend the use of nutritional supplements, changes ... of AMD? A study published recently in Dove Medical Press journal, ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... , ... June 23, 2017 , ... ... surgeon practicing in Newburgh, New York, has recently begun offering three new minimally ... offering the best cutting-edge procedures and reducing downtime, Dr. Rubinstein is excited to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/14/2017)... June 14, 2017  ivWatch LLC, a medical device ... intravenous (IV) therapy, is pleased to announce it was ... Nonsurgical Hospital Supplies and Equipment at the 2017 Medical ... the medtech industry. The award was presented by Medical ... Javits Center in New York ...
(Date:6/11/2017)...  Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY ) ... of galcanezumab, an investigational treatment for the prevention of ... key secondary endpoints for galcanezumab compared to placebo at ... EVOLVE-2 and REGAIN) will be presented today at the ... Boston . "The detailed ...
(Date:6/8/2017)...   Responding to Heath Ledger,s father,s recent ... singer Chris Cornell in May, the mental health ... free online psychiatric drug side effects search ... psychotropic drug risks. The father of the ... accidental overdose, has called for tighter rules on prescription drugs. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: