Researchers suggest balanced reporting of sports head injuries


Published on February 20, 2019

A group of more than 60 leading international neuroscientists, including Mark Herceg, PhD, a neuropsychologist at Northwell Health’s Phelps Hospital in Sleepy Hollow, NY, and a member of The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, published a correspondence last week in The Lancet Neurology, asking for balance when reporting on sports-related injury chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a type of dementia associated with exposure to repeated concussions, and has been linked with a variety of contact sports such as boxing, football, American football and rugby.

Although CTE is commonly featured in the news media and discussed among peers, the medical community is just beginning to understand how to recognize the disease and guidelines for how to assess its severity have yet to be established.

“We don’t currently have a clear understanding of the link between CTE pathology and any specific symptoms,” noted Dr. Herceg. “It’s important to note to the public at large that CTE is at an early stage of scientific and medical understanding, with many important aspects of the disease yet to be established.”

“Dr. Herceg and his colleague’s CTE research is timely and impactful as a major step forward to more clearly defining the risk and prevalence of this important syndrome,” said Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institute.

Willie Stewart, PhD, consultant neuropathologist and Honorary Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Glasgow, is the lead and corresponding author of the correspondence letter, “Primum non nocere: a call for balance when reporting on CTE,” which is available here: http://ow.ly/H11330nD4NS