Associated Press - Study Links Athletic, Military Brain Injuries

 – May 16, 2012  –– 

A small study raises more concern about the long-term consequences of brain injuries suffered by thousands of soldiers — suggesting they may be at risk of developing the same degenerative brain disease as some retired football players. Autopsies of four young veterans found the earliest signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in their brain tissue. They compared the brain tissue of some of the youngest athletes ever found with signs of early CTE, in their teens and 20s, and concluded the abnormalities were nearly identical. A key next step will be for brain banks, which store donated brain tissue for research, to look more closely for CTE so scientists can learn how often it occurs and in whom, said neuroscientist Dr. Sam Gandy of Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He predicts that people who carry genes linked to Alzheimer's disease would be more prone to lasting damage from traumatic brain injury. In an editorial in the same journal on Wednesday, he suggested studying if gene testing of would-be high school athletes or military recruits might one day help persuade the most vulnerable to avoid those occupations.
- Dr. Sam Gandy, Professor, Neurology, Psychiatry, Associate Director of the Mount Sinai Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
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