Neuropathologic and clinical findings in young contact sport athletes exposed to repetitive head impacts

Key Points

Question  What are the neuropathologic and clinical findings in a convenience sample of young, deceased, symptomatic contact sport athletes?

Findings  In this case series of 152 contact sport athletes younger than 30 years at the time of death, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) was found in 63 (41.4%), with nearly all having mild CTE (stages I and II). Neuropathologic abnormalities associated with CTE included ventricular enlargement, cavum septum pellucidum, thalamic notching, and perivascular pigment–laden macrophage deposition in the frontal white matter.

Meaning  These findings confirm that CTE and other brain pathologies can be found in young, symptomatic contact sport athletes, but the clinical correlates of these pathologic conditions are uncertain.

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