Sunday, May 15, 2011

Dementia pugilistica

Symptoms of Dementia Pugilistica

  • Unable to tolerate loud noise.
  • Depression, Confusion.
  • Unsteady walk.
  • Improper behavior.
  • Disorientation
  • Double vision.
  • poor concentration.
  • speech problems.
  • Loss of memory.
  • Headache
  • Dizziness

Pro-Bowl Player's Suicide Renews Head Trauma Debate

It has been known since the 1920s that the repetitive brain trauma experienced by boxers sometimes led to neurologic and cognitive deterioration -- a condition that initially was termed "dementia pugilistica."

Dementia pugilistica

Dementia pugilistica is a syndrome characterized by motor, psychiatric, and cognitive symptoms (Morrison 1986; Guterman and Smith 1987; Mendez 1995; ...

But in 2002, after the death of Pittsburgh Steelers former star center Mike Webster, known as "Iron Mike," Omalu, who then worked in the medical examiner's office in Pittsburgh, performed an autopsy on the player, whose life ended with a heart attack after years of homelessness and destitution -- he had even sold his Super Bowl rings -- as well as depression and multiple suicide attempts.

Omalu persevered, and in special analyses of brain tissue samples, he found large deposits of tau, a protein which is part of the microskeleton of brain cells. With repeated axonal injury, tau loses its self-repairing ability, becomes hyperphosphorylated, and begins to accumulate, forming neurofibrillary tangles and neuritic threads in areas of the neocortex.

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