Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), also known as post-brain injury syndrome, is a neurodegenerative disease of the brain caused by one or more brain injuries (or spontaneous re-concussions) over time. It can also be caused by not properly treating a brain injury(s). This condition, like most neurological conditions, can range from mild to severe in nature. Symptoms typically do not begin until years (1-15+) after the initial injury(s). CTE often gets worse over time in eventually can result in dementia and the risk of suicide.
Most documented cases have occurred in athletes involved in contact sports such as boxing, football, ice hockey, soccer, rugby, etc. CTE is also seen in patients involved in serious motor vehicle accidents. It has also been seen in cases where patients have been placed under general anesthesia multiple times for surgeries, acquired severe viral and bacterial infections, or a combination of the above. Studies have shown where patients have taken certain pharmaceuticals (i.e. benzodiazepines, etc.) for prolonged periods of time can increase the risk of neurodegenerative disease of the brain.
Definitive diagnosis (100% positive) can only occur after death with an autopsy. In living individuals, diagnoses can usually be accurate with history, symptoms, and a Functional Neurological Brain Examination. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a form of TAUOPATHY where tau proteins build up in the brain tissue after multiple physical, chemical, or emotional injuries to the brain.
Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
The signs and symptoms of CTE can occur 1 to 15 years and in some cases even longer after the injury. Early and middle stage symptoms are:
- Cerebellar Cognitive Affective Syndrome (CCAS)
- Ringing in Ears
- Chronic Gut Function Issues
- Balance Issues
- Numbness in the Arms or Legs
- Memory Loss
- Social Instability
- Impulsive Behavior
- Mood Changes
- Poor Judgment
- Vague Blurriness of Vision.
Psychological symptoms are:
- Personality Changes
- Loss of sex drive.
And later stage patients present additionally with:
- Degrees of Dementia (memory loss)
- Movement Disorders,
- Speech Impediment
- Sensory Processing Problems
- Severe Vertigo and Dizziness
- Graded Deafness
- Difficulty Concentrating and Retaining Long and Short Term Memories
- Depression and Suicidal Thoughts
There are no “medical cures” for CTE. In other words, pharmacy (pills) and conventional physical therapy does not work well in these cases. The best management for the symptoms and a chance for a considerable degree of reversal and recovery of the condition in the early, middle stages, and sometimes late stages is Functional Neurological Brain Rehabilitation, Brain-Based Exercises, and Diet & Nutrition. This will therefore create as much neural plasticity and long-term improvement in the patient’s brain as is possible.
Special note: after receiving one brain injury and the person does not receive “proper” treatment or no treatment is given, the brain can spontaneously reconcuss on its own over and over again.
Ready to Begin Post Concussion Treatment?
Go to the patient resource section of this website and fill out the “take self-test” questionnaire. Then submit the test and I will personally call you and discuss your concussion’s condition and symptoms.
OR, Call today at 502-296-3581 and make an appointment with Dr. Furnish to find out how you can further improve your care and life from your concussion injuries.
Most of all DO NOT GIVE UP HOPE. There is HOPE. Additionally, functional Chiropractic Neurology provides post concussion treatment and hope in many cases where hope has been lost.
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