CTE aphasia and lesions of the brain

Boxer Muhammad Ali recently passed away from a decades struggle with Parkinson’s Disease. The culprit might have been from a result of getting too many punches to the head. Recently, there were incidence among football players with speech and cognitive disorders. Soldiers in action, surprised by attacks, developed cognitive problems after leaving military service. A diagnosis might be several diseases but the umbrella is CTE. Scientists, doctors and engineers are studying CTE to discover possible preventives and treatments. CTE and lesions of the brain is a firm of newer approaches stemming from advanced needs and developments in neurosciences.

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a degenerative brain disease found in athletes, military veterans, and others with a history of repetitive brain trauma. In CTE, a protein called Tau forms clumps that slowly spread throughout the brain, killing brain cells, resulting with varied symptoms such as speech disorders, confusion, memory disorders and more. Speech patterns are also effected and are often early signs of CTE. These may mimic aphasia and other frontal lobe related speech problems.

Encephalopathy is a general term describing a disease that affects the function or structure of your brain. There are many types of encephalopathy associated with brain disease. The term represents a very broad spectrum of potential problems. Encephalopathy is often dependent of other diseases of the body, particularly liver, kidney, and other vital organs. It is how the brain may react.

CTE is relatively new to research and the possible symptoms and results go overlap with other diseases:

Memory loss
Personality changes (including depression and suicidal thoughts)
Erratic behavior (including aggression)
Problems paying attention and organizing thoughts
Difficulty with balance and motor skills

The prominent symptoms of CTE may be chronic episodes of confusion and speech patterns. There’s an area of the brain’s frontal lobe named after an early scientist named Wernicke and it is aptly called the Wernicke area. Wernicke discovered an area of the brain identified as being associated with something called aphasia. Aphasia delivers a form of state that resembles one who is drunk. It is associated with difficulty walking, speaking, remembering, and a vast number of symptoms, not dissimilar from CTE. Aphasia has been associated with patients recovering from strokes having problems with language comprehension.

CTE has been seen in people as young as 14, but symptoms do not generally begin appearing until years after the onset of head impacts. CTE has been associated as a product from repeated physical child and spouse abuse.

Virtually all people may, at one time, have a head concussion from a fall, an accident, or a physical altercation. Some symptoms might include headache, confusion, memory issues, and unconsciousness Key difference is it’s a one-time concussion and those symptoms are temporary. Those with CTE have had many head collisions resulting with or without concussions and not noticed.

The reasons why CTE hasn’t been a formidable problem until now is that most diagnoses were based on post-mortem brains. Recent findings that clusters of tau protein build-up may be associated with CTE onset and development. With diagnostic tests which can identify the signs of early onset CTE, it would be possible to screen professional athlete, military personnel and others who are at risk for developing this condition so as to safeguard their future health and happiness. Doctors at Boston University, in September 2017, have possibly discovered a way to diagnose CTE signs in living individuals.

Tau protein develops in neuron networks. Some tau deviations and clusters have been under the watchful eyes among neurocognitive practitioners as a possible association with Alzheimer Disease development. As a natural protein, Tau is essential in tiny amounts as nerve stabilizers. Theorists claim Tau buildup is caused by increased activity of enzymes that act on tau called tau kinases, which causes the tau protein to misfold and clump into tangles within the brain. This contributes to cognitive loss.

Whether there are CTE research breakthroughs from UCLA on the west coast and Boston University on the east coast, skepticism rises from established brain injury specialists that CTE may be susceptible to over diagnosis. Research studies are small and are often sponsored by interested parties, such as the National Football League (NFL). The NFL has quite a financial and protective interest in protecting their players from CTE and determining early CTE symptoms.

Chronic, repetitive head injuries, no matter how small, may leave lesions on the brain. A brain lesion is an abnormality seen on a brain-imaging test, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computerized tomography (CT). It may seem like a scratch (as you might gain in a physical injury, or a bump, pr a change in thickness. Lesion development may have associations with cancer, muscular dystrophies, and neuromuscular disorders, as well as cognitive issues. Locations and types of lesions translate into conditions. If a lesion falls on Wernicke ‘s or Broca’s areas, aphasia symptoms might develop. Yet brain lesions aren’t just dependent on CTE, brain lesions may form many other ways.

Many things, including keyboard shapes and styles, have changed to prevent repetitive problems that affect our limbs and muscles. While CTE emerges as results of repetitive brain impacts through sports and military activity, CTE covers a very broad range of complicated neurological disorders. Head gear upgrades are necessary. Yet, in a discussion with a former boxer, use of head gear in a fight detracts and reduces “knockout” potential. But…at what cost? What research into ergonomic designs?

I agree that possible repetitive injuries may result when protective gear against CTE are not worn. Also, I would want gear for amateur as well professional players. Then again, some argue that such protective gear significantly reduces the challenges of competitive sports.

Simultaneously, there are those that develop brain diseases without ever having had repetitive injuries. The causes may arise from many other areas and conditions. There are ergonomic needs required for those that work or play and are subject to repetitive injuries of the head. I really would like to see that happen.

Ultimately there are so many reasons, theories, and studies as to how the brain works and how diseases develop within neural networks. It’s complicated. Rattling the brain’s positions around to champion a rough, challenging sport may (or may not) develop consequences down the road. CTE is an important concern. Yet CTE injury concerns are at infancy, with only slight regard within the economics of sports. Often it partners with the quests for ultimate prizes and contracts. Is the possibility of CTE really that important?

At writing, there really aren’t any conclusive tests to determine if CTE is present or if someone is a more likely candidate. As a recent researched topic, there are really no particular methods of treatment or cure, other than resulting symptoms.

I might wonder if the high-volume bass reverberations in dance clubs might be associative with CTE development. We know that aging rock stars developed hearing problems. Only a few studies showed small evidence of brain altering that could be indicative of CTE. That was a study using rats, not humans. One study from Boston in September 2017 indicates how CTE may be addressed with sports players. CTE may be a popular term in people’s jargon but remains elusive.

Yet, there has been much research (not CTE related) that cite some evidence that music may trigger or suppress certain neurotransmitters that affect brain functioning.

Recurring CTE throughout life is believed to lead to dementia as indicated in MRI tests of patients. Obviously, not all dementia patients were sportingly active. As an umbrella term, CTE is more like a phantom – something to acknowledge as a threat or as a neutral agonist. There’s much more to be studied about CTE and potential harms or benefits from sports and general living.