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July 25, 2017

Advances and Gaps in Understanding Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy: From Pugilists to American Football Players

Author Affiliations
  • 1Memory and Aging Center, Department of Neurology, University of California San Francisco, California
JAMA. 2017;318(4):338-340. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.9353

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major public health concern, affecting an estimated 10 million people worldwide per year and more than 40% of US residents over the course of a lifetime.1,2 Mild TBI, also referred to as concussion, is defined as blunt, nonpenetrating head trauma associated with transient symptoms (eg, headache, nausea, dizziness, visual changes, confusion, or difficulty concentrating) and accounts for more than 80% of all TBI cases. Beyond the morbidity of the immediate trauma, patients who experience mild TBI are at increased risk of developing neurological and psychiatric disorders later in life.3 The majority of TBI is caused by motor vehicle crashes and falls, although brain injuries also occur during participation in contact sports, with an estimated 1.6 million to 3.8 million sports-related concussions occurring in the United States per year.4

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