Behavior changes define Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy


football brain injury
We have devoted many Neuronotes blogs to subjects related to multiple mild brain injuries (mTBI), concussions and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE. A recent development in the study of CTE was reported by Robert Stern, PhD of Boston University and his co-authors in an online article in Neurology. Of 36 individuals with CTE in the study, almost all had a combination of cognitive, mood and behavior disorders. Cognitive impairment was observed in almost all of the cohort. Stern and his co-authors noted that two-thirds developed mood and behavioral disturbances at a younger age and died at a younger age. The rest of the group had predominately cognitive impairment with a later onset and death at an older age. Stern commented on the confirmation of CTE requiring autopsy and the need that has created to establish what  clinical characteristics of mood, behavior and cognition could be identified earlier in suspected cases of CTE.

The study identified two groups: one associated with the initial presentation of mood and behavior impairment and the second group with the initial presentation being cognitive impairment. Almost all members of the study experienced cognitive problems at some point, but fewer individuals in the the cognitive impairment group experienced behavior and mood changes over the course of their illness.

This view of the precursors of CTE is important in how behavioral and mood issues are considered and for in individuals who are at risk for CTE, clinicians may be able to prevent exposure to more injuries.

Click here to read the Medpage Today summary.

Source reference: Stern RA, et al “Clinical presentation of chronic traumatic encephalopathy” Neurology 2013; DOI: 10.1212/WNL.ObO13e3182a55f7f.



About Rolf Gainer Ph.D.

Dr. Rolf Gainer is the founder of the Neurologic Rehabilitation Institute at Brookhaven Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma as well as the Neurological Rehabilitation Institute of Ontario, in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Gainer is a psychologist with more than twenty-five years of experience in the treatment and rehabilitation of individuals with brain injuries and a dual diagnosis. Dr. Gainer has designed and operated innovative rehabilitation programs in the United States and Canada for individuals who have been regarded as difficult to serve. He is currently involved in conducting two outcome studies related to the long-term issues faced by individuals with brain injuries and a dual diagnosis. He has presented papers throughout the United States and Canada in many professional conferences and educational forums.

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