CTE found in more than half of sportspeople who donated brains

The Guardian / Sun 27 Feb 2022 / Emma Kemp

Groundbreaking research into the long-term ramifications of concussion in sport has found chronic traumatic encephalopathy in the brains of more than half of a cohort of donors, including three under the age of 35.

The Australian Sports Brain Bank on Monday reported its preliminary findings after examining the 21 brains posthumously donated by sportspeople since the centre’s inception in 2018.

Of those – all of whom had played sports with risks of repetitive head injury, including 17 in football codes – 12 donors were found to have CTE lesions, while all but one exhibited some form of neurodegeneration.

CTE, which can only be definitively diagnosed at autopsy, is a neurodegenerative condition linked to repeated head traumas. Symptoms experienced during life include cognitive impairment, impulsive behaviour, depression, suicidal thoughts, short-term memory loss and emotional instability.


Photograph: Joel Carrett/AAP

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