Blast related TBI and Sports concussions: a pathway to CTE


recent focus on sports-related concussions and the onset of CTE in the later years of athlete’s life continues to make us more aware of the long-term problems associated with “mild” brain injury, particularly problems occurring for people who have experienced multiple concussions. The pending lawsuit filed by players against the NFL, research into helmet design and better recognition of concussion’s signs by physicians and coaches are important parts of our growing awareness of the issues that are associated with multiple concussive events. Neuronotes has hosted blogs by George Visger, a retired NFL player, who has been living with the effects of multiple concussions and has become a vocal spokesperson for the issues in many forums.

As more veterans return from the theaters of war in Iraq and Afghanistan and filter back into civilian life, we are understanding the complex effects of blast-induced TBI and discerning the differences between blast and sports-related brain injuries. Both events produce a pathophysiological cascade and secondary neuronal damage. The biomechanics of two injury types are significantly different. The cummulative effect of multiple injuries from either genesis may be seen years post-injury and manifested in symptoms associated with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE. Clicking this linked article will provide readers with an understanding of the differences between blast-induced and sports-related TBI and the development of CTE.

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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