Evidence suggests that participation in contact–collision sports may increase the risk of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. In this review, sports-related traumatic brain injury (TBI) is discussed as well as advances in our understanding of the pathology of brain injury and improvements in detection and diagnosis of sport-related TBI.
Detection and management of cerebral concussion is of greatest importance as mismanagement of this syndrome can lead to persistent or chronic postconcussion syndrome (CPCS) or diffuse cerebral swelling. A spectrum of disorders are associated with long-term consequences of brain injury, including chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), dementia pugilistica, post-traumatic parkinsonism, post-traumatic dementia and CPCS. CTE is the prototype of chronic TBI, but can only be definitively diagnosed at autopsy as no reliable biomarkers of this disorder are available.
Jordan BD: The clinical spectrum of sport-related traumatic brain injury. Nature Reviews Neurology 9(4): 222-230 (2013).