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Brain injury from contact sports has similarities to Alzheimer's disease

April 03, 2019 - 3:00 am
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KYW Newsradio’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The punch-drunk boxer was a stereotype in Hollywood for years. The syndrome now has a medical name: chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. 

CTE also impacts people who play contact sports such as football, rugby and soccer. A new report in the journal Nature found that CTE features an abnormal buildup of certain proteins in the brain.

Unsurprisingly, similar proteins are found in Alzheimer's disease, a brain-wasting condition that affects as many as 50 million people worldwide. 

One of the major concerns in sports like football is that the damage can begin with involvement in youth sports, too.