Concussion Series Part 8
The ever famous CTE, What is CTE?
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy // made famous by the movie concussion is a condition classified by deposits of Tau (protein) within the sulci (valleys) of the brain, in an alzheimers like pattern.
The media and the publicity around the movie concussion have made huge waves in the concussion world, claiming that concussions and repeated head knocks are the cause of CTE. this is NOT FACTUAL
High quality recent research has shown that there is substantial diversity in the clinical history and presentation of those people that are diagnosed post mortem with CTE, and many of their clinical symptoms overlap with other neurological disorders.
Stats show that 37% of patients with CTE suffered from comorbid neurodegenerative diseases such as; alzheimers, parkinsons and dementia. Meaning that ALMOST HALF of CTE cases could possibly be explained by other neurodegenerative pathology.
The issue with CTE is that it can only be diagnosed post mortem. And there are many other limitations;
Individuals are more likely to donate their brains if the person experienced symptoms during life, skewing results
Brains assessed for CTE have not been compared to any CONTROL group
People close to the individual are more likely to report early onset symptoms and report earlier exposure to contact sports, which leads to overestimated results.
At this point in time, there is NO QUALITY EVIDENCE that lends itself to drawing correlations between concussion and CTE