Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

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PM&R (Impact Factor: 1.53). 07/2010; 2(7):671-5. DOI: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2010.06.002
Source: PubMed


Traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of death and disability among young adults. Clinical evaluation is of limited value in the assessment of patients with traumatic brain injury and is often inaccurate in determining the extent of brain damage. Neurophysiological techniques and neuroimaging can provide valuable prognostic information and are useful in monitoring for seizures and other causes of secondary brain damage and in tracking the effects of therapy. More recently, cognitive electrophysiology and functional magnetic resonance imaging have shown that many patients clinically deemed to be in vegetative or in minimally conscious states are, in fact, aware. This opens new frontiers for further research into establishing communication with otherwise unresponsive patients.

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    ABSTRACT: To determine the relative influence of current exercise and diet on the late-life cognitive health of former Division I collision-sport collegiate athletes (ie, football players) compared with noncollision-sport athletes and non-athletes. Graduates (n = 400) of a Midwestern university (average age, 64.09 years; standard deviation, 13.32) completed a self-report survey to assess current demographics/physical characteristics, exercise, diet, cognitive difficulties, and physical and mental health. Former football players reported more cognitive difficulties, as well as worse physical and mental health than controls. Among former football players, greater intake of total and saturated fat and cholesterol and lower overall diet quality were significantly correlated with cognitive difficulties; current dietary intake was not associated with cognitive health for the noncollision-sport athletes or nonathletes. Hierarchical regressions predicting cognitive difficulties indicated that income was positively associated with fewer cognitive difficulties and predicted 8% of the variance; status as a former football player predicted an additional 2% of the variance; and the interaction between being a football player and total dietary fat intake significantly predicted an additional 6% of the total variance (total model predicted 16% of variance). Greater intake of dietary fat was associated with increased cognitive difficulties, but only in the former football players, and not in the controls. Prior participation in football was associated with worse physical and mental health, while more frequent vigorous exercise was associated with higher physical and mental health ratings. Former football players reported more late-life cognitive difficulties and worse physical and mental health than former noncollision-sport athletes and nonathletes. A novel finding of the present study is that current dietary fat was associated with more cognitive difficulties, but only in the former football players. These results suggest the need for educational interventions to encourage healthy dietary habits to promote the long-term cognitive health of collision-sport athletes.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2011 · The Physician and sportsmedicine
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    Full-text · Article · Nov 2011 · PEDIATRICS
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