HCN News & Notes

AMA Urges Further Research into Detection and Prevention of CTE

CHICAGO — The American Medical Assoc. (AMA) recently adopted new policies aimed at increasing research into the full continuum of head injuries, ranging from subconcussive impacts to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive degenerative condition of the brain found in athletes (and others) with a history of repetitive brain trauma. The new policy urges research into the detection, causes, and prevention of head injuries.

“With hundreds of thousands of Americans — including approximately 250,000 children under age 19 — sustaining concussions each year, it is vital that we research the full continuum of head impacts,” said AMA board member Dr. Willarda Edwards. “Whether the concussion occurs during youth sports like football, soccer, and basketball or during a military deployment, the insidious symptoms of CTE are occurring eight or 10 years after the inciting event. Further research into the causes, prevention, and detection of CTE are critical, but we must begin this effort by understanding how to prevent it.”

Detecting and diagnosing CTE before death is currently very difficult. The AMA’s new policies encourage research efforts to develop diagnostic tools as well as to understand preventive measures that can protect against CTE.