By On August 22nd, 2013

Behavior changes define Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

football brain injuryWe have devoted many Neuronotes blogs to subjects related to multiple mild brain injuries (mTBI), concussions and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE. A recent development in the study of CTE was reported by Robert Stern, PhD of Boston University and his co-authors in an online article in Neurology. Of 36 individuals with CTE in the study, almost all had a combination of cognitive, mood and behavior disorders. Cognitive impairment was observed in almost all of the cohort. Stern and his co-authors noted that two-thirds developed mood and behavioral disturbances at a younger age and died at a younger age. The rest of the group had predominately cognitive impairment with a later onset and death at an older age. Stern commented on the confirmation of CTE requiring autopsy and the need that has created to establish what  clinical characteristics of mood, behavior and cognition could be identified earlier in suspected cases of CTE.

The study identified two groups: one associated with the initial presentation of mood and behavior impairment and the second group with the initial presentation being cognitive impairment. Almost all members of the study experienced cognitive problems at some point, but fewer individuals in the the cognitive impairment group experienced behavior and mood changes over the course of their illness.

This view of the precursors of CTE is important in how behavioral and mood issues are considered and for in individuals who are at risk for CTE, clinicians may be able to prevent exposure to more injuries.

Click here to read the Medpage Today summary.

Source reference: Stern RA, et al “Clinical presentation of chronic traumatic encephalopathy” Neurology 2013; DOI: 10.1212/WNL.ObO13e3182a55f7f.



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