For nearly a century, researchers, clinicians, doctors, etc., have been aware that chronic traumatic encephalophy (CTE), previously known as dementia pugilistica, is positively correlated with gradual neurological decline (McKee et al., 2009). Although CTE has affected athletes since the 1920s, it has recently received more attention due to many athletes, namely National Football League (NFL) players and boxers, being diagnosed with and suffering from CTE (McKee et al., 2009). Therefore, the remainder of this paper will discuss the clinical symptoms of CTE, diagnostic criteria, and several case studies of athletes with CTE.
McKee et al. (2009) described the clinical symptoms of CTE as including: parkinsonism, memory disturbance,…show more content… 80). Of the 10 CTE cases evaluated in this study nine of the individuals were former American football players and one was an ex professional boxer.
As CTE appears to be highly prevalent among ex National Football League (NFL) players, Omalu et al. (2005) discussed the autopsy results of an ex NFL player. This particular case was chosen because the autopsy showed neuropathological changes, which were consistent with frequent concussions over a long period of time.
Omalu et al. (2005) evaluated the patient’s premortem medical history, which included dysthymia, parkinsonian symptoms, memory and judgment issues, and coronary atherosclerotic disease with dilated cardiomyopathy, which was the cause of his death 12 years after retirement from the NFL. Moreover, the patient did not have any family history of dementia or any history of head trauma besides in football. Furthermore, the autopsy demonstrated that CTE was indicated with “multiple diffuse amyloid plaques, sparse neurofibrillary tangles, and t-positive neuritic threads in neocortical areas” (Omalu et al., 2005). Overall, Omalu et al. (2005) argued that the results of this study illustrated the potential risks of individuals (i.e., NFL players) who suffer frequent mild traumatic brain injuries.
While Omalu et al. (2005) presented on the