[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
December 24, 1997

APOE ∈4 Allele and Chronic Traumatic Brain Injury

JAMA. 1997;278(24):2143. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550240033025

To the Editor.  —The preliminary findings presented in the stimulating article by Dr Jordan and colleagues1 suggest that the apolipoprotein E (APOE)∈4 allele may be associated with the pathophysiology of chronic traumatic brain injury secondary to boxing. A startling 63% of the boxers examined in the study exhibited neurologic abnormalities. Three (10%) of the 30 boxers showed signs of severe impairment. Yet the authors failed to mention even in a brief sentence the public debate over boxing. In recent years, an extensive medical literature has accumulated regarding the health hazards associated with boxing. As the evidence that boxing produces irreversible brain damage in boxers has become more compelling, physicians have begun to consider whether the sport is acceptable in its present form.2-4As physicians, we should be striving to protect the health of athletes.5 The view of a leading and authoritative figure in the field of