CTE and Athletes

May 8, 2020 • Volume 30, Issue 18
Can more be done to prevent severe brain injuries?
By Barbara Mantel


Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) has garnered greater public attention in recent years after it was diagnosed in several deceased football players, including former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez and Hall of Famer Junior Seau. CTE is linked to repetitive blows to the head and is thought to lead to mood, behavior and cognitive changes. It can afflict hockey players, combat veterans and others in addition to football players, and currently can be diagnosed only after death through microscopic examination of brain tissue. Some experts caution that media coverage has gotten ahead of the science, which is in the early stages of trying to answer such critical questions as how common CTE is and who is most at risk. Several state legislators want to ban tackle football for younger children, and many parents are questioning whether they should let their children play contact sports. Participation in tackle football among 6- to 12-year-olds is falling. The NFL, meanwhile, has faced increased scrutiny — and criticism — over its safety record, although some say it has made progress in managing concussions.

In a controversial helmet-to-helmet hit (AP Photo/Ric Tapia)
In a controversial helmet-to-helmet hit, Jadeveon Clowney of the Seattle Seahawks knocks Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz out of a January playoff game with a concussion. (AP Photo/Ric Tapia)
ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Dec. 02, 2022  Long COVID
Oct. 29, 2021  COVID-19 Vaccines
Jan. 08, 2021  Health and Society
Nov. 20, 2020  The Public Health System
Jul. 17, 2020  The Pandemic Economy
Jun. 26, 2020  Zoonotic Diseases
May 08, 2020  CTE and Athletes
Jan. 24, 2020  Conquering Rare Diseases
Sep. 13, 2019  Measles Resurgence
Nov. 30, 2018  Obesity Crisis
Jun. 15, 2018  Superbug Threat
Jun. 02, 2017  Pandemic Threat
Jul. 22, 2016  Mosquito-Borne Disease
Feb. 13, 2015  Emerging Infectious Diseases
Nov. 08, 2013  Lyme Disease
Jan. 06, 2012  Preventing Disease
Apr. 02, 2010  Breast Cancer
Sep. 12, 2008  Heart Health
Aug. 24, 2007  Fighting Superbugs
Jan. 13, 2006  Avian Flu Threat
Jun. 20, 2003  Fighting SARS
Apr. 05, 2002  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Mar. 09, 2001  Diabetes Epidemic
Mar. 02, 2001  Mad Cow Disease
Dec. 24, 1999  Asthma Epidemic
Aug. 05, 1983  Multiple Sclerosis
May 27, 1983  Chronic Pain: The Hidden Epidemic
Sep. 24, 1976  Influenza Control
Sep. 16, 1970  Virus Research
Mar. 14, 1956  Progress Against Polio
May 25, 1955  Degenerative Diseases
May 25, 1949  Chronic Disease
Mar. 01, 1924  The Foot and Mouth Disease
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