CTE in Hockey

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greybeard58
Posts: 2331
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 11:40 pm

Thursday, April 7 Zoom Speaker Dr Robert A Stern

Post by greybeard58 » Thu Feb 24, 2022 1:58 pm

Thursday, April 7 Zoom Speaker Dr Robert A Stern

Concussion Center Speaker Series: Dr. Robert A. Stern, PhD
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and the Long-Term Consequences of Sports-Related Repetitive Head Impact Exposure: What We Know Now and What We Need to Know Next

Thursday, April 7
4:00-5:00pm
via Zoom

featuring

Dr. Robert A. Stern, PhD

Professor of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Anatomy & Neurobiology
Co-Founder and Director of Clinical Research, BU CTE Center
Senior Investigator, BU Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center
Boston University School of Medicine


Dr. Robert Stern will present the neuropathological features of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), including what is currently known about risk factors for developing CTE, the clinical features associated with CTE, the NINDS Consensus Diagnostic Criteria for Traumatic Encephalopathy Syndrome, and the possible fluid and neuroimaging biomarkers for CTE.

Dr. Robert Stern is a Professor of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Anatomy & Neurobiology at Boston University (BU) School of Medicine. Dr. Stern has been a clinician, researcher, and lecturer in the area of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders for over 30 years. From 2010-2019 he was Clinical Core Director of the NIH-funded BU Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (BU ADRC) and is currently Senior Scientist for the BU ADRC. He oversees several clinical trials for the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s and has conducted research on innovative new tests to detect and diagnose the disease. Dr. Stern is an internationally recognized expert on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and the long-term effects of repetitive head impacts in athletes. He is Co-Founder and Director of Clinical Research for the BU CTE Center, and he is the lead investigator of a $17 million, 7-year NIH grant for a multi-center study to develop methods of diagnosing CTE during life as well as examining potential risk factors of the disease. Dr. Stern has over 250 publications, is a member of several medical journal editorial boards, and is the co-editor of two textbooks: Sports Neurology (Dr. Brian Hainline, co-editor), part of the Handbook of Clinical Neurology series, and the Oxford Handbook of Adult Cognitive Disorders (Dr. Michael Alosco, co-editor). He is a clinical neuropsychologist and has developed several widely used neuropsychological tests, including the Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (NAB). He is a Fellow of the American Neuropsychiatric Association and the National Academy of Neuropsychology.

To register:
https://umich.zoom.us/webinar/register/ ... DzoVa7uUTQ

For more information: https://concussion.umich.edu/event/conc ... stern-phd/

greybeard58
Posts: 2331
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 11:40 pm

Thursday, April 7 Zoom Speaker Dr Robert A Stern

Post by greybeard58 » Thu Mar 17, 2022 4:11 pm

Thursday, April 7 Zoom Speaker Dr Robert A Stern

Concussion Center Speaker Series: Dr. Robert A. Stern, PhD
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and the Long-Term Consequences of Sports-Related Repetitive Head Impact Exposure: What We Know Now and What We Need to Know Next

Thursday, April 7
4:00-5:00pm
via Zoom

featuring

Dr. Robert A. Stern, PhD

Professor of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Anatomy & Neurobiology
Co-Founder and Director of Clinical Research, BU CTE Center
Senior Investigator, BU Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center
Boston University School of Medicine


Dr. Robert Stern will present the neuropathological features of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), including what is currently known about risk factors for developing CTE, the clinical features associated with CTE, the NINDS Consensus Diagnostic Criteria for Traumatic Encephalopathy Syndrome, and the possible fluid and neuroimaging biomarkers for CTE.

Dr. Robert Stern is a Professor of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Anatomy & Neurobiology at Boston University (BU) School of Medicine. Dr. Stern has been a clinician, researcher, and lecturer in the area of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders for over 30 years. From 2010-2019 he was Clinical Core Director of the NIH-funded BU Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (BU ADRC) and is currently Senior Scientist for the BU ADRC. He oversees several clinical trials for the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s and has conducted research on innovative new tests to detect and diagnose the disease. Dr. Stern is an internationally recognized expert on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and the long-term effects of repetitive head impacts in athletes. He is Co-Founder and Director of Clinical Research for the BU CTE Center, and he is the lead investigator of a $17 million, 7-year NIH grant for a multi-center study to develop methods of diagnosing CTE during life as well as examining potential risk factors of the disease. Dr. Stern has over 250 publications, is a member of several medical journal editorial boards, and is the co-editor of two textbooks: Sports Neurology (Dr. Brian Hainline, co-editor), part of the Handbook of Clinical Neurology series, and the Oxford Handbook of Adult Cognitive Disorders (Dr. Michael Alosco, co-editor). He is a clinical neuropsychologist and has developed several widely used neuropsychological tests, including the Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (NAB). He is a Fellow of the American Neuropsychiatric Association and the National Academy of Neuropsychology.

To register:
https://umich.zoom.us/webinar/register/ ... DzoVa7uUTQ

For more information: https://concussion.umich.edu/event/conc ... stern-phd/

greybeard58
Posts: 2331
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 11:40 pm

Does Substance Abuse Cause CTE Pathology? Global Expert Weighs in to Debunk Misguided Theory

Post by greybeard58 » Wed Apr 13, 2022 3:57 pm

Does Substance Abuse Cause CTE Pathology? Global Expert Weighs in to Debunk Misguided Theory

As the lead author of the 2nd through 5th Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport, Dr. Paul McCrory may be the most influential neurologist in sports over the past 20 years. The Statement is famous for both its extraordinary conflicts of interest and for downplaying the link between head impacts and CTE.

The conference that produces updated statements is funded or organized by international sports governing bodies like FIFA and the IOC and 32 of the 36 authors have financial ties to organized sports. Some have suggested that their statement on CTE, "a cause-and-effect relationship has not yet been demonstrated between chronic traumatic encephalopathy and sport related concussion and exposure to contact sports” is critical to successfully defend class-action lawsuits from former athletes. (In contrast, the CDC CTE Fact Sheet says evidence demonstrates a cause-and-effect relationship).

Over the last month, McCrory has had two editorials retracted for plagiarism, faces additional allegations of plagiarism, and is being asked to explain how he treated athletes with concussion symptoms during a time the Medical Board of Australia said he was not allowed perform neurodiagnostic procedures. I also wrote a blog about how he has also misrepresented BU’s research in public talks.

While we’re looking into McCrory’s influence on the global CTE conversation, would you be surprised to learn he is a was also one of the key promoters of the theory that CTE can be caused by the use of opioids? Professional sports organizations embraced it and repeated it because they know their athletes suffer injuries that often require surgery and the use of painkillers. In 2015, McCrory was senior author on an opinion piece that questioned the link between CTE and sports, claiming: “The correlation between opioid abuse and hyperphosphorylated tau deposition is well described, and should be factored as a key variable in any assessment of causation [in CTE].”

We reached out to the world’s expert on how opioids and alcohol impact the brain neuropathologically, and in the following video he debunks McCrory’s nonsensical claim that CTE could be caused by substance abuse. Dr. Gabor Kovacs is an internationally renowned neuropathologist and researcher in the field of neurodegenerative diseases. In 2021, he received the Alfred Meyer Memorial Lecture and Prize from the British Neuropathological Society for his expertise on tau-related conditions. He is currently affiliated with the University of Toronto and the University Health Network (UHN), where he holds numerous roles including consultant Neuropathologist at the Laboratory Medicine Program at the UHN, Principal Investigator at the Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Disease, and Senior Scientist at the Krembil Brain Institute.

Does Substance Abuse Cause CTE Pathology? Global Expert Weighs in to Debunk Misguided Theory
Read more: https://concussionfoundation.org/news/b ... ded-theory

Alcoholism, Heroin Abuse, and Repetitive mTBI: What can we see Under the Microscope?
Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1z-0ksJ-GI

greybeard58
Posts: 2331
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 11:40 pm

8 Major Findings: The risk of additional years of playing ice hockey

Post by greybeard58 » Sat Jun 25, 2022 1:43 pm

8 Major Findings: The risk of additional years of playing ice hockey

Whenever a football player struts in celebration after making another bone-crushing hit, it’s hard not to wonder what the jarring clash of heads did to their brain. Same when watching a soccer defender repeatedly thumping headers upfield or a hockey center skating gingerly away from a bruising body check.

After 15 years of research into the toll of repeated head traumas on the brain, especially among athletes, Boston University’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Center has changed the conversation around contact sports—and shifted the viewing experience for many fans. The center is a national leader in the study of CTE, a progressive degenerative brain disease, and its work—particularly on diagnosing star players like 49er Greg Clark and Canadian Ralph Backstrom—has made news worldwide. CTE has been linked to multiple symptomatic concussions and asymptomatic sub concussive blows to the head; it’s been found in military veterans, as well as former sportspeople.

For those afflicted by CTE, their brain can begin changing—deteriorating, even eventually shrinking—just months after a traumatic knock. For anyone who’s played an impact sport, the list of common symptoms posted on the CTE Center’s website is frightening: memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, impulse control problems, aggression, depression, suicidality, parkinsonism. The final stage is progressive dementia.

The center is home to the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank, which holds more than 1,250 brains for study and is billed as “the largest tissue repository in the world focused on traumatic brain injury and CTE.” Thanks to that library, BU researchers have found CTE—which can currently only be diagnosed after death—in more than 90 percent of former NFL players studied and shown CTE risk doubles after just three years of football.

With its studies continuing to advance our understanding of the disorder—and potential ways to prevent and diagnose it in the living—here are eight of the biggest CTE discoveries and headlines made by center experts this past year:

1. MRI Could Help Diagnose CTE in the Living

There’s no way to diagnose CTE when someone is alive. A patient and their doctors might make some best guesses—if, say, a former footballer renowned for big tackles is now struggling with confusion and anxiety—but confirmation only comes after death. In December 2021, BU researchers revealed that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) might have the potential to change that and help spot CTE in the living.

They reviewed MRI images of the brains of 55 men who were diagnosed with CTE postmortem—but who’d been scanned while alive—and spotted shrinkage in the brain that didn’t show up in healthy male controls with normal cognition.

“MRI is commonly used to diagnose progressive brain diseases that are similar to CTE, such as Alzheimer’s disease,” says Michael Alosco, a BU School of Medicine assistant professor of neurology and CTE Center lead investigator. “Findings from this study show us what we can expect to see on MRI in CTE. This is very exciting because it brings us that much closer to detecting CTE in living people.”

A second study of brain scans of former footballers also showed that white matter hyperintensities—a marker of brain injury—could be spotted using MRI.

Researchers are now looking to see whether the patterns they saw in people with CTE “differentiate CTE from Alzheimer’s disease and other causes of dementia,” says Alosco.

2. Memory—but Not Mood—Could Also Hold Clues to Lifetime Diagnosis

Progressive memory loss and issues with executive function, the ability to focus, follow directions, and problem-solve could all be markers that help diagnose CTE in the living. Researchers interviewed family members of 336 brain donors about their loved ones’ cognitive function in life, then evaluated the brains for CTE pathology. They found “progressive memory and executive function symptoms are particularly valuable” for predicting the presence of CTE, says Jesse Mez, a MED associate professor of neurology. Mood and behavior proved less useful.

“Our study provides doctors with information about which symptoms are most predictive of CTE pathology,” says Mez.

3. College Football Players More Likely to Have Brain Disorders

The University of Notre Dame is a college football powerhouse, with 11 national championships and nearly 500 players who went on to the NFL. But a study of former Fighting Irish players who were seniors between 1964 and 1980 found a dark side to that success. The ex-college stars were five times more likely to report cognitive impairment diagnoses than their peers in the general population—and had increased mortality due to degenerative brain disease. They were also two-and-a-half times more likely to report recurrent headaches and 65 percent more likely to have cardiovascular disorders during life.

Although there were some positives for the former players—including lower rates of diabetes and a significantly smaller chance of dying from heart and respiratory disorders—researchers said the negative health consequences were concerning.

“We all loved the game that we played at Notre Dame,” says Rocky Bleier, a former Notre Dame captain and four-time Super Bowl champion with the Pittsburgh Steelers. “We just believe that the health of the game and the health of the players go hand in hand, and hope that the results of this study provide some initial answers and benefits to our teammates, as well as future players and their families at all levels of the sport.”

4. Pro Footballers Have a Greater ALS Risk

Among the other life-altering—and shortening—conditions threatening retired footballers is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a rare progressive neurodegenerative disease that’s also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. A multi-institution study found NFL athletes are four times more likely to die from ALS than the general population.

According to a press release, the researchers also discovered a link between longer professional careers and increased ALS risk—those who developed the disease played an average of seven seasons, 56 percent longer than matched pro footballers who didn’t. The study included every player who debuted between 1960 and 2019 and played in at least one NFL game—close to 20,000 individuals—with diagnoses drawn from news reports and obituaries. Living players with the disease were also included in the study.

“In our brain bank, we have found a similar relationship between a longer football career and an increased risk of other neurodegenerative diseases,” says Ann McKee, director of the CTE Center. “It has become clear that years of repeated impacts to the head can cause the human brain to break down along many pathways.”

5. A Lot of Bad Stuff Is Going On in the CTE-Hit Brain

Past research on CTE has concentrated on the buildup of abnormal tau—a protein—in the brain’s gray matter. But researchers have also found changes in the white matter, the part of the brain that controls the signals flying up and down the spinal cord. In a study of eight CTE-impacted brains and eight matched control brains, they discovered changes in a type of cell called oligodendrocytes that help neurons speed up their message delivery.

“There is loss of oligodendrocytes and alteration of oligodendrocyte subtypes in CTE that suggest white matter damage is important to the pathogenesis of CTE and might provide new targets for prevention and therapies,” says McKee, who’s also a William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor and MED professor of neurology and pathology.

6. Ice Hockey Players Not Immune from CTE Trouble

Although football takes a lot of the CTE headlines, the dangers of ice hockey, with its crunching body checks and board slams, is getting increasing attention. Now, a CTE Center–led study has tied every additional year on the ice to a 23 percent increased chance of having the disorder.

In a study of 74 hockey players—from those who played at the youth level through NHL pros—researchers found more than half had CTE at the time of their death. They also discovered that each additional year of playing was linked to a 15 percent increased chance of someone progressing to the next stage of CTE. The disease has four stages—the final one includes brain shrinkage and associated dementia.

“While the absolute risk for ice hockey players of developing CTE is still unknown, it may be concerning to athletes and their families that we found each year of ice hockey play may increase the odds of developing CTE,” says Mez, who presented the findings in April at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting. “Our research may be useful for them when making informed decisions about play.”

7. Ex-NFL Player Phillip Adams Had Severe CTE When He Killed Six People

In April 2021, officials in York County, South Carolina, were left trying to make sense of the seemingly motiveless killing of a local doctor and five others, including the doctor’s young grandchildren. The county sheriff said they were murdered by Phillip Adams, a former cornerback who’d racked up six seasons in the NFL. Adams had apparently entered the prominent doctor’s home with two pistols, later fleeing to his parents’ home where he took his own life. At the time, his father wondered if years of football—Adams reportedly started playing aged seven—had been a factor in the violent killing spree.

“I can say he’s a good kid—he was a good kid,” Alonzo Adams told local NBC affiliate, WCNC-TV, “and I think the football messed him up.”

After his death, Adams’ brain was donated to the CTE Center. There, researchers found he had stage 2 CTE—which commonly brings symptoms like depression, mood swings, and memory loss—at the time of his death.

“Adams had an extraordinary amount of CTE pathology in the frontal lobe, the area of the brain behind the forehead. Frontal lobe damage is associated with violent, impulsive or explosive behavior, a ‘short fuse,’ and lack of self-control,” says McKee. “His CTE pathology might have contributed to his abnormal behaviors, in addition to other physical, psychiatric, and psychosocial factors. His predominantly frontal lobe CTE pathology, which resulted in atrophy, or shrinkage, of the brain, was similar in severity to Aaron Hernandez.”

8. If You Played Soccer or Football, You Can Participate in BU’s Research—No Brain Donation Necessary

If you played soccer or tackle football—at any level, at any age—you may be eligible to enroll in a new study that aims to examine the risks for developing dementia, cognitive decline, and changes in behavior and mood later in life after playing sports. The Head Impact & Trauma Surveillance Study (HITSS) will include an online annual assessment with questions about sports participation, exposure to head impacts, behavior and mood, and concussion and medical history; it’ll also include memory and cognitive tests. Anyone aged over 40 can sign up online: https://www.hitss.org/

Ambassadors for the study include Super Bowl champion Mike Haynes and World Cup winner Brandi Chastain.

“While there have been significant research advances in recent years, past studies have been limited by focusing solely on former professional tackle football players and/or including only small numbers of male participants,” says Matt Roebuck, HITSS’ recruitment coordinator. “To move the science forward, we are launching a nationwide campaign…to enroll thousands of people who played organized soccer or tackle football at any point in their lives.”

8 Major Findings and Headlines from BU CTE Researchers in the Past Year
Experts have made breakthroughs on diagnosing CTE in the living, and in studying the impact of college football on the brain, pro football’s link to ALS, and the risk of additional years of playing ice hockey
Read more: https://www.bu.edu/articles/2022/8-majo ... last-year/

goldy313
Posts: 3839
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2002 11:56 am

Re: CTE in Hockey

Post by goldy313 » Sun Jun 26, 2022 12:20 am

Thank you for posting this.

People make their own decisions.

The science is undeniable but science has become debatable. Politics sucks!

Science makes us a top Country. Liberals and Conservatives who ignore science are a bane to us all.

But we still want 9 year olds leading with their heads! 🤯

greybeard58
Posts: 2331
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 11:40 pm

"Did you every play football? Or ice hockey?"

Post by greybeard58 » Sat Jul 02, 2022 12:37 pm

"Did you every play football? Or ice hockey?"

Taylor Dever was standing on the side of his dad’s deck taking a photo on his phone, when Tom Dever took a break from a family gathering to come outside.

“I asked him, ‘What’s up?’ and he said, “’See right there? There’s these dudes out there.’”

“Now,” Tom said with a slight tilt of his head. “I’ve got nothing here behind me on the property, but he’s saying he saw guys in camo, either with paintball guns or some kind of weapon or rifles.

“I said, ‘OK, we’re good, Taylor. We’re good. Come inside.’”

But soon again, Taylor was back out on the deck, insisting there were men in the forest behind the home wielding weapons of some sort.

“It got to the point, where he and I went down and walked out back to show him that there was nobody there,” Tom said.

Still, Taylor wasn’t convinced.

And once again, he was soon back on the deck, taking more photos to prove to his dad the men he saw were real.

“‘Look right there! Right there!’ And, obviously, there was no one there,” Tom said. “He’s like ‘You see that tree stump? Just to the right of that. See the guy? See his helmet? Look, you can see his helmet!’

“I thought, ‘Oh my God!’ But, I just wanted to stay calm for him.”

It was in such surreal moments with Taylor that Tom, and the rest of the family, made a point of setting aside the shock of seeing their ‘gentle giant’ struggle. The out-of-character behavior — anger, anxiety, confusion and frustration — grew more frequent and more pronounced. But they often felt helpless in their own struggle to help him find answers, as the doctors also didn’t understand.

“You’d think it would be like ‘OK, I’m having hallucinations, I can’t keep a job, I’m depressed’ … And the doctor would be like, ‘Oh, did you have head trauma? Did you play football? Hockey? Were you in a car accident? Did you play rugby or any from the list of all the other sports that are susceptible to this?’

“But instead it’s like, ‘I played football at Notre Dame and in the NFL.’ And the doctor’s like, ‘Oh, my God, that must have been great! Tell me about that, and how cool that is!’ But they don’t know that you’re there because you have these symptoms, that they’re not equating to CTE. They need to be educated. They need to have a better understanding.”

Helping others better understand CTE and its devastating impact, particularly on football players, is one of the main reasons Tom, Lori and Megan Dever are sharing Taylor’s story.

“(The doctors) hear about these behaviors, but does anybody ask ‘Did you every play football? Or ice hockey?’” Lori said. “It’s just … let’s connect the dots here. But we’re not even close. They don’t understand.

“Looking back on it, no matter how hard he tried, would this still be a struggle for him to function … would he get better?’ How does a person get better? Why do some kids get it and some don’t?”

By educating others about the disease, the Dever family hopes to help other parents make the decision about their own child playing football. They’ve taken comfort in hearing and reading similar stories of other families, knowing they aren’t alone in their struggle to make sense of their child dying young.

And in doing that, 18 months since the shocking death of their 31-year-old son, the Dever family also gets a chance to explain what happened to Taylor.

‘WE’RE NOT ALONE’
That scene on the deck, when Taylor was certain there were men in camouflage behind his dad’s home, came to mind when Tom Dever learned Max Tuerk, another California native, had similar struggles before he died at the age of 26.

Tuerk, a former offensive lineman with USC and the NFL, grew up in Trabuco Canyon where his high school team won a state championship. But after being drafted in 2016 by the San Diego Chargers, Tuerk was out of football two years later. He collapsed and died while on a hike in June 2020, with an autopsy showing he had an enlarged heart, and a study of his brain showing Stage One CTE.

The diagnosis confirmed his family’s suspicion that there was an underlying cause to the anxiety, anger, depression and paranoia he was experiencing — as well as the kind of out-of-character behavior the Dever family saw with their own son.

Tuerk’s father told the L.A. Times that while with the Chargers, Max was visiting in Orange County when his son told him Russians were unloading nuclear weapons at the site of a former nuclear power plant near San Clemente.

“I was scared to death,” Greg Tuerk told the Times. “He became very paranoid. He actually became delusional.”

“That’s what it’s been like talking with these families,” Tom Dever said. “It’s like ‘Oh, my God, he did this? He did that? Taylor did the same thing. Taylor said the same thing.’

“It was not eerie, but comforting because … we’re not alone. It’s helped talking to other families. It’s helped to the point where I want to reach out to other families as soon as I hear. It helps talking.”

The Concussion Legacy Foundation continues to connect families impacted by CTE, continuing its efforts to expand support to all involved. Megan Dever said the foundation’s work to connect parents and siblings of former players who died with CTE could be both eye-opening and life-changing.

Before studying graphic design in college, Megan had studied psychology and considered a career in nursing. Now, after her own experience — and frustration — with the mental health system, she is thinking about becoming a therapist.

“Also, it’s about the awareness of CTE. I’ve talked to so many people who say, ‘What’s that?’” Megan said. “Hopefully, that awareness leads to research, support … everything.

“Just through my own journey of therapy and everything, I think I’d really like to do that. … Taylor always wanted to help people. I don’t know. This has definitely sparked something in me.”

‘THE WORST PART’
Lori Dever said seeing her son’s spiral downward was “the most horrendous thing I’ve ever gone through. … It was like watching him just die in front of you.”

There were several times she grew concerned for his safety, worried his anxious and angry demeanor could lead to confrontations that could result in harm to himself or others. Even though she knew he’d never intentionally hurt anyone, she couldn’t help but be concerned.

“One of the bigger things that I feel bad about was that I was almost feeling a little afraid of him,” Lori said. “I didn’t know if I should hug him or go into the other room. It didn’t seem there was anything I could do, but to encourage him.”

“Somedays it felt like he was 5 years old again, and then there were days when I saw a side of him I’d never seen,” she said. “There was this road rage and these bursts of anger and that wasn’t the gentle giant I knew.”

But, she said, Taylor knew his struggles were real. And it deeply saddened her to see him return to such a realization when he understood he’d overreacted with an angry outburst or became so frustrated losing track of things like his phone, a set of car keys or a padlock to a shed.

“It’s the same situation with Alzheimer’s or dementia,” Lori said. “The worst part of these diseases is when the person is still cognizant enough to realize, ‘I can’t remember your name. What is wrong with me?’ It’s heartbreaking. That’s just the worst part.

“I really do think he tried to be that gentle giant, and tried to be strong. But he told me, ‘Mom, you don’t ever want to know what’s going on in my brain. I can’t figure it out. I just feel so stupid.’”

Because CTE currently cannot be diagnosed until after death, Taylor’s family focused on helping him with the symptoms he was experiencing, including counseling and support for alcohol and substance abuse.

Tom said a doctor told him seizures Taylor was experiencing from time to time — somewhere near a half dozen — toward the end of his life could have been due to alcohol withdrawal.

“I never doubted his self diagnosis (of CTE),” Tom said. “I just felt, OK, you can’t diagnose CTE while alive. Let’s eliminate everything else. My approach was, OK, there’s nothing we can do about that, but let’s not make sure it’s not something else.”

Lori said when she saw Taylor the day before he died, he was working at the local food bank and had a fresh haircut and had shaved his beard.

“He looked great, better than he’d ever looked,” Lori said. “He told me, ’This is cool. I get to go shopping for people in need and put the food in their trunk.’”

Later that day, Lori watched as Taylor searched and searched for a padlock he’d misplaced, growing increasingly frustrated.

“He couldn’t find the padlock that he’d had in his pocket,” she said. “He must have stood there for 5 minutes, looking in his pockets, but he couldn’t find it.”

A short while later, Lori said, she received a final text from Taylor.

“I found the lock and will bring it back over ASAP.”

Taylor Dever died Dec. 7, 2020, at the age of 31.

MOVING FORWARD
“It’s not right,” Tom said. “That’s not the order of life. That’s not how it’s supposed to be.”

Though his family suspected CTE had played a role in his death, it took nearly 18 months to have that confirmed by a post-mortem diagnosis. It’s important to his parents and sister that those who struggled to understand his change in personality and behavior have the full story, particularly now that their suspicions of what happened to Taylor have been confirmed.

And now that they’ve done what Taylor asked, to donate his brain for research, they’re turning their attention to next steps in making a difference in the lives of others dealing with the disease, something they know their son would want them to do.

“Number one, we want the community to know that that wasn’t Taylor,” Tom said. “We want them to know what happened. He didn’t commit suicide. It was an accidental drug interaction. He was suffering from this condition or disease. We want the community to know.

“And then secondly, we want to carry on what really he wanted. And what we want to do in his memory is to carry this forward with the awareness and support to researching this condition.

“It’s like ‘Donate? OK, we did that. Now what do we do, Taylor? Don’t stop there. Keep going.’”

Lori said she wants to set the record straight and also share Taylor’s story so that her son’s legacy is centered around making more people aware of CTE, particularly those expected to provide care to people suffering from it.

“I want to put an end to all the gossip,” she said. “People hear that it was a drug overdose. But it was a drug interaction. And, yes, they were prescribed drugs.

“They would diagnose him with ADHD or something else … he’s this, he’s that. And they’d give him a prescription. … I think that’s such a big problem with these doctors prescribing these medications, because they don’t know what they’re dealing with (when it comes to CTE).”

“They say time heals all wounds,” she said. “I will tell you time does not heal. … I can’t say it will ever go away for mama.”

The Dever family has launched the Taylor’s Tree Foundation (www.TaylorsTree.org), a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness and support for the efforts of the Concussion Legacy Foundation and research into chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and mental health.

After his death in 2020, Taylor Dever was diagnosed with Stage 2 CTE through a clinical diagnosis by researchers at the Veterans Administration, Boston University, Concussion Legacy Foundation Brain Bank.

“Taylor wanted to change the world,” his family wrote in his legacy story at ConcussionFoundation.org. “He was destined to make an impact. We are carrying on his mission with the formation of Taylor’s Tree, a nonprofit foundation aiming to provide awareness and support for mental health and suspected CTE.”

The first project for the Taylor’s Tree organization is to increase awareness and provide support for the research efforts of those organizations.

“Our legacy, my legacy and everybody who loved him, is to make people more aware,” said Lori Dever, Taylor’s mother. “My son, his legacy will live on and Taylor would want this support and research.”

For more information, visit https://www.taylorstree.org


‘Time does not heal’: Family talks about next steps in raising awareness about CTE
Read more: https://www.theunion.com/news/time-does ... about-cte/

goldy313
Posts: 3839
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2002 11:56 am

Re: CTE in Hockey

Post by goldy313 » Thu Jul 07, 2022 11:46 pm

Keep up the good work greybeard! It is largely thankless work but work that is important.

greybeard58
Posts: 2331
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 11:40 pm

Breakthrough study reveals repetitive head impacts are a definitive cause of CTE

Post by greybeard58 » Fri Aug 12, 2022 10:52 pm

Breakthrough study reveals repetitive head impacts are a definitive cause of CTE

Sports organizations must acknowledge that head impacts cause CTE to protect children

(Boston) – A new analysis by leading international experts on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) found conclusive evidence that repetitive head impacts (RHI) cause the degenerative brain disease CTE.

The researchers from Harvard University, Boston University, University of Sydney (Australia), University of Auckland (New Zealand), University of Michigan, University of California-San Francisco, University of Sao Paulo (Brazil), University of Melbourne (Australia), Oxford Brookes University (UK) and the Concussion Legacy Foundation are issuing a global call to action to sports organizations, government officials, and parents to immediately implement CTE prevention and mitigation efforts, especially for children.

The researchers analyzed the data through the “Bradford Hill criteria”, a trusted set of nine benchmarks developed by one of the pioneers of smoking and lung cancer research to gauge the confidence science can place in a causal relationship between an environmental exposure and an adverse health outcome.

Among the revelations in the analysis, the authors discovered that the brain banks of the US Department of Defense, Boston University-US Department of Veterans Affairs, and Mayo Clinic have all published independent studies on distinct populations showing contact sport athletes were at least 68 times more likely to develop CTE than those who did not play contact sports. This incredible strength of association, combined with robust evidence in all nine benchmarks, is conclusive evidence of causation.

“This innovative analysis gives us the highest scientific confidence that repeated head impacts cause CTE,” said study lead author Dr. Chris Nowinski, Concussion Legacy Foundation CEO. “Sport governing bodies should acknowledge that head impacts cause CTE and they should not mislead the public on CTE causation while athletes die, and families are destroyed, by this terrible disease.”

The most studied causes of CTE are contact and collision sports, which include soccer, rugby, boxing, American football, Canadian football, and Australian rules football. The study authors are concerned parents and coaches, who have the most control over whether children are exposed to repetitive head impacts, are not getting the facts from global sports organizations, and are exposing their children to preventable cases of CTE.
While both the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Football League (NFL) acknowledge a causal relationship between repetitive head impacts and CTE, global sporting organizations including Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), World Rugby, International Olympic Committee (IOC), National Hockey League (NHL), Canadian Football League (CFL), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Australian Football League (AFL), National Rugby League (NRL) and New Zealand Rugby thus far have refused to publicly acknowledge a causal relationship.

Researchers say it is the duty of these organizations to inform athletes and their families and take appropriate steps toward CTE prevention and mitigation. Many of the organizations, including the NFL, spend millions of dollars a year recruiting athletes, including children, without disclosing the risk of CTE.

“This analysis shows it is time to include repetitive head impacts and CTE among child protection efforts like exposure to lead, mercury, smoking, and sunburns,” said Dr. Adam Finkel, Clinical Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and a former Director of Health Standards, US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). “Repetitive head impacts and CTE deserve recognition in the global public health discussion of preventable disorders caused by childhood exposures.”

CTE can only be definitively diagnosed through a post-mortem examination of the brain. Scientists don’t yet know how many athletes, military Veterans, and others exposed to head impacts have CTE, but knowing the prevalence of a disease is not required to enact disease prevention efforts, especially as the global scientific community closes in on 1,000 CTE cases diagnosed worldwide in the last decade.

“Even we were surprised by how strong the causal relationship between repetitive head impacts and CTE becomes when the data are analyzed within the appropriate framework and in an unbiased manner,” said study co-senior author Dr. Robert Cantu Concussion Legacy Foundation medical director. “Scientists and policymakers must retire the word association and begin using causation in all forums in an urgent effort to educate the public.”

The authors urge governments to support CTE research and prevention efforts since CTE is associated with developing dementia, which comes with extraordinary healthcare costs.

The research paper, Applying the Bradford Hill Criteria for Causation to Repetitive Head Impacts and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, is published in Frontiers in Neurology, and can be viewed online.

Applying the Bradford Hill Criteria for Causation to Repetitive Head Impacts and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10 ... 38163/full

Dr. Nowinski and Dr. Finkel answered some of the most frequently asked questions about CTE causation, read their blog here https://concussionfoundation.org/news/b ... -causation

Breakthrough study reveals repetitive head impacts are a definitive cause of CTE
https://concussionfoundation.org/news/p ... -cause-CTE

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New research finds blood tests can predict severe outcomes of brain injury

Post by greybeard58 » Tue Sep 06, 2022 11:46 am

New research finds blood tests can predict severe outcomes of brain injury

Simple blood tests taken on the day of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can predict with fairly high reliability which patients are likely to die and which are likely to survive with severe disability, according to a study published Wednesday in Lancet Neurology.

The rapid assay looks for two protein biomarkers — GFAP, found in glial cells, and UCH-L1, found in neurons. Tests of both biomarkers have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for their ability to show structural damage to the brain and are used as tools to determine if patients with mild TBI should have costly CT scans.

Now, this paper, by a group of scientists associated with a brain injury research initiative called TRACK-TBI, shows that the assays are not only diagnostic, but also prognostic. Having a strong indication of outcome can shape conversations with families in cases of devastating injury, the researchers said, or contribute to triage decisions and resource allocation in a military setting.

While typical prognostic tests “require an assemblage of some clinical data, some CT imaging data, and some laboratory data,” this test is easy to use and the results are immediate, said Geoffrey Manley, a trauma neurosurgeon at the University of California, San Francisco and senior author on the study.

Firas Kobeissy, an assistant professor in emergency medicine at the University of Florida who is unaffiliated with this research, said that the ability to predict unfavorable outcomes for patients with TBI is a novel and strong finding, though the biomarkers fall short of predicting partial recovery.

Researchers used a rapid portable blood analyzer to look for the biomarkers in samples from 1,500 patients on the day of their traumatic brain injury. Most were injured in traffic accidents or falls. Patients with trauma in addition to a brain injury were excluded.

That could be a limitation. “Without including the polytrauma, you’re excluding a large group of patients that we typically see in the ICU,” said Gretchen Brophy, professor of pharmacotherapy and outcomes science and neurosurgery at Virginia Commonwealth University, who was not involved with this research but serves on the steering committee of TRACK-TBI.

Brophy noted that 30% of the patients in the study reported previous TBI, which might mean there were elevated baseline levels of the protein biomarkers. She also pointed out that secondary injuries can occur while patients are hospitalized and influence biomarker levels. Brophy said it is important for future studies to see if the predictive powers of the biomarkers holds true when patients with more diverse brain injury profiles are included.

The researchers followed the participants for two weeks, three months, and six months to see how they fared. They used the Glasgow Outcome Scale Extended, which is a widely used tool for assessing disability and recovery after a TBI. Patients are assigned a score from 1 — dead — to 8 — fully recovered.

Six months after the initial admission, 7% of the patients had died, 14% had level 2 to 4 injuries, and the rest had incomplete recovery. Researchers found that high initial levels of the biomarkers were associated with death and severe injury — a score of 1-4 — and that the biomarker blood test improved on the most widely validated current prediction tool, the IMPACT prediction model.

The day-of-injury blood tests had a probability of predicting death at six months of 87% for GFAP and 89% for UCH-L1; and a probability of predicting severe disability at the same time point of 86% for both GFAP and UCH-L1. They were significantly less accurate in predicting incomplete recovery compared to complete recovery.

“If these proteins are significantly elevated, we need to share this with families to say that there’s a higher likelihood of incomplete recovery or even death,” Manley said.

But Eric Thelin, an associate professor in experimental neurology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, cautions that the tool cannot be applied clinically yet since there might be false positives.

“Right now it’s sort of a guess with brain injuries,” Brophy said. “The biomarkers will help us be a little bit more definitive in speaking with the families of the patients, and also the patients to give them some idea of the recovery from the injury, which we haven’t really been as confident in before.”

While both biomarkers were independently prognostic, they worked best in tandem. The UCH-L1 protein is very rapidly released and cleared from the bloodstream while the GFAP protein peaks a bit later and then sticks around for a while.

“Both of these proteins are highly complementary, in that you’re not going to miss things because you did the test too early, or you’re not going to miss things because you did the test too late,” Manley explains.

Because so-called mild traumatic brain injury has long been considered a one-and-done event as opposed to a potentially chronic illness, a lot of patients with high Glasgow scores at initial evaluation are not given robust follow-up. But Manley says that paradigm is changing and that these blood-based biomarkers could eventually be an effective tool to predict unfavorable outcomes and identify patients who will benefit from follow-up care.

New research finds blood tests can predict severe outcomes of brain injury
Read more: https://www.statnews.com/2022/08/10/blo ... -outcomes/

Prognostic value of day-of-injury plasma GFAP and UCH-L1 concentrations for predicting functional recovery after traumatic brain injury in patients from the US TRACK-TBI cohort: an observational cohort study
Read the study: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lane ... 3/fulltext

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