Monday, June 13, 2016

The Greatest

The top brain is a normal brain. The bottom brain shows the gross pathology of a professional athlete who developed cognitive impairment, behavior and personality changes, depression, speech and gait abnormalities, and Parkinsonism at the end of his life. Note the severe dilation of the second and third ventricles, marked atrophy of the medial temporal lobes, and shrinkage of the mammillary bodies.

Challenge: What kind of sports did he likely participate in?

Image shown under Fair Use.

5 comments:

RaH said...

Was he a boxer or a NFL player?
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)

Anonymous said...

dementia pugilistica

Craig Chen said...

exactly right! this has been getting a lot of press in the media with the NFL concussions and Muhammad Ali
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The Greatest

This is chronic traumatic encephalopathy, also called dementia pugilistica. It is seen in patients who have multiple concussions or head trauma such as boxers and football players.

Sources: UpToDate; “Long-Term Consequences of Repetitive Brain Trauma: Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy” by Stern et al.

Richard J. Schneider said...

I completely agree with Craig Chen. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in athletes with a history of repetitive brain trauma, including symptomatic concussions as well as asymptomatic subconcussive hits to the head.

CTE is a very controversial condition that is still not well-understood. Researchers do not yet know the frequency of CTE in the population and do not understand the causes. There is no cure for CTE.

Richard J. Schneider said...

Yes I completely agree with Craig Chen. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is a brain degeneration likely caused by repeated head traumas. CTE is a diagnosis only made at autopsy by studying sections of the brain.

CTE is a very controversial condition that is still not well-understood. Researchers do not yet know the frequency of CTE in the population and do not understand the causes. There is no cure for CTE.