Chronic traumatic encephalopathy: a potential late and under recognized consequence of rugby union?

Stewart, W. , McNamara, P.H., Lawlor, B., Hutchinson, S. and Farrell, M. (2016) Chronic traumatic encephalopathy: a potential late and under recognized consequence of rugby union? QJM: An International Journal of Medicine, 109(1), pp. 11-15. (doi:10.1093/qjmed/hcv070) (PMID:25998165)

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Abstract

The association between exposure to head injury and increased risk of neurodegenerative disease, specifically chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), is widely recognized. Historically, this was largely considered a phenomenon restricted to boxers, with more recent case series identifying further ‘high risk’ individuals, such as former American footballers, or military personnel. However, in all cases thus far reported, it is clear that it is the exposure to head injury which is associated with increased dementia risk, and not the circumstances or environment of exposure. As such, there is considerable potential for under-recognition of CTE in patients presenting with neurodegenerative disease, particularly where head injury exposure might have been historical and through sport. This article reviews current understanding of CTE and, via an illustrative case in rugby union, highlights the value of a detailed history on head injury and also draws attention to imaging studies in assessing patients with neurodegenerative disease.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Stewart, Dr William
Authors: Stewart, W., McNamara, P.H., Lawlor, B., Hutchinson, S., and Farrell, M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
Journal Name:QJM: An International Journal of Medicine
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:1460-2725
ISSN (Online):1460-2393
Published Online:21 May 2015

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