New Study Addresses Traumatic Brain Injury Patterns in Boxers and MMA Fighters

attentie-attentie-ig7vN6OkGNE-unsplash-copy-300x200Whether you recently suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in Poway or elsewhere in Southern California, you should learn about a recent study that identifies potential biomarkers for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). According to an article in MedPage Today discussing the study, researchers have determined that brain region volume may help us to better understand CTE and ways that repeated concussions can result in degenerative brain conditions. The new study specifically assessed boxers and MMA fighters who showed “distinct brain injury patterns.” We will tell you more about the recent study and what its implications could be for future CTE studies and brain injury claims.

 Tracking Brain Injury in Athletes and Other People with Repetitive Head Impacts

Many recent studies surrounding TBIs and other serious brain injuries differentiate between one-time head trauma and repeated head injuries, such as multiple concussions. The recent study specifically assessed repetitive head impacts, or RHI, among professional fighters. That study was conducted by a team of researchers led by Dr. Charles Bernick of the Cleveland Clinic. According to the article, Bernick’s research showed that “active professional fighters showed different patterns of brain volume loss than fighters who have retired from the ring,” and “these differences may lead to biomarkers to track changes in people with repetitive head impacts.”

More precisely, “retired fighters had the most significant volumetric declines in the right hippocampus and in the left amygdala compared with controls, which could be the result of a progressive neurodegenerative process like chronic traumatic encephalopathy . . . or Alzheimer’s disease.” As Bernick clarified, the study suggests that health care providers may be able to use MRI imaging to measure the volume of a person’s brain region after sustaining repeated hits to the head, and certain types of brain volume loss in particular regions of the brain may be signs of CTE or other degenerative diseases. The results of the study appeared in the journal Neurology.

Bernick emphasized that, although the findings could be significant, there is a need for further research and “validation in other cohorts.” Bernick suggested that the type of study he conducted along with other researchers be tested on others who often sustain repeated head injuries, such as service members in the military or athletes who play contact sports like football or soccer.

Early Signs of CTE and Repeated Brain Injury

While CTE cannot be diagnosed definitively while a person is living, studies like the recent one reported by MedPage Today suggest that there are potential methods for health care providers to identify early signs that CTE and other degenerative brain conditions may result.

In addition, the Mayo Clinic cites some of the following as possible symptoms of CTE:

  • Difficulty thinking;
  • Impulsive behavior;
  • Depression;
  • Difficulty planning;
  • Difficulty carrying out tasks; and
  • Short-term memory loss.

Contact a Poway Brain Injury Lawyer

Many traumatic brain injuries occur because of another party’s negligence, from head trauma in car crashes to recreational sports. If you or someone you love recently sustained a concussion or another type of TBI, you may be eligible to file a claim. An experienced Poway brain injury attorney can speak with you today about your case. Contact the Walton Law Firm for more information about our personal injury services.


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