No Cognitive Deterioration Found After Two Years of Youth Football

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Sean C. Rose, MD Pediatric sports neurologist and co-director of the Complex Concussion Clinic Nationwide Children’s Hospital 

Dr. Rose

Sean C. Rose, MD
Pediatric sports neurologist and co-director of the
Complex Concussion Clinic
Nationwide Children’s Hospital 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Very limited data has been collected in children while they are playing contact sports to study the relationship between repetitive head impacts and neurocognitive outcomes.  We previously published a 1-year analysis of youth tackle football players and found no association between the number or severity of head impacts and performance on neurocognitive testing before to after the football season.  We are now reporting the results from the 2nd year of our study, tracking children through two seasons of football participation.

We measured head impacts using helmet sensors during the 2016 and 2017 football seasons.  In the total group of 166 players age 9-18, one outcome measure (processing speed), out of the 23 outcome measures studied, declined over time.  However, several other measures that also assessed processing speed did not decline.  Neither the total burden of head impacts nor the intensity of individual impacts were associated with changes in testing performance over the course of the two seasons.

Continue reading

CTE Brain Pathology Found More Commonly in Former Athletes and Men

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Kevin F. Bieniek, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine Director, Biggs Institute Brain Bank Core Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s & Neurodegenerative Diseases University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio San Antonio, Texas 78229

Dr. Bieniek

Kevin F. Bieniek, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine
Director, Biggs Institute Brain Bank Core
Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s & Neurodegenerative Diseases
University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio
San Antonio, Texas 78229

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly explain what is meant by CTE?  

Response: CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that is linked to prior exposure to repetitive traumatic brain injuries.  CTE pathology, characterized by a distinct deposition pattern of the protein ‘tau’, is most often observed in the brains former contact sport athletes and military veterans.  The public health impacts of this disorder are largely unknown, as this disease is often studied in individuals which advanced levels of exposure, particularly professional American football player.

This study aimed to understand what the presence of this disorder might be in the general population by studying athletes and non-athletes, a number of different sports, different levels of participation, and both males and females.

Continue reading