As of December 2012, 33 former NFL football players had been diagnosed post mortem with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). In October 2010, 17-year-old Nathan Stiles, a high school football player died hours after a final hit at his high school homecoming game.
This was on top of the many sub-concussive blows endured previously. He was diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy making him the youngest reported CTE case.
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is caused by repetitive concussive blows to the head. This is common in boxing, football, and soccer.
Post Mortem Symptoms Of CTE
- These symptoms of CTE occur years after the traumatic events.
- Auto-antibodies enter the brain through the damaged blood brain barrier and cause inflammatory proteins to build up.
- The buildup of Tau proteins in certain areas of the brain is the consistent hallmark finding in the post mortem brains of CTE sufferers.
- Unfortunately, there is no way to diagnose this disease in a living brain to date.
Common Signs In Living Human Beings
- Poor judgment
- Bursts of anger
In addition to not being able to officially diagnose a living sufferer of the symptoms of CTE, there is no treatment. When suspected to have CTE, the patient is told to modify his activities and have a routine lifestyle.
The medications used to treat the symptoms are your typical antidepressants and psychiatric medications. These, of course, come with their own physical and psychological side effects. The former players whose CTE symptoms caused their demise were on psychiatric meds for their long standing symptoms.
How Naturopathy Can Help
This is where naturopathic medicine has an advantage over conventional medicine. There are many options for those suspected to have CTE.
- Oxygen therapy and nutritional supplements can control the inflammation in the brain.
- Neurotransmitter therapy can replenish and balance out the friendly neurotransmitters such as GABA and serotonin to calm and stabilize emotions.
- Nutritional supplements that have been used for years to heighten the brain’s function to allow for better focus and memory.
It is my hope that those who are suffering and confused as to why this is happening and what can be done, will know about naturopathic medicine and its many ways to improve the quality of life.