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Balanced reporting of sports head injuries

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 today 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, 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.

Story Source:

Materials provided by Northwell Health. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. William Stewart, Kieren Allinson, Safa Al-Sarraj, Corbin Bachmeier, Karen Barlow, Antonio Belli, Mark P Burns, Alan Carson, Fiona Crawford, Kristen Dams-O’Connor, Ramon Diaz-Arrastia, C Edward Dixon, Brian L Edlow, Scott Ferguson, Bruce Fischl, Rebecca D Folkerth, Steve Gentleman, Christopher C Giza, M Sean Grady, Adel Helmy, Mark Herceg, Janice L Holton, David Howell, Peter J Hutchinson, Diego Iacono, Juan E Iglesias, Milos D Ikonomovic, Victoria E Johnson, C Dirk Keene, Julia K Kofler, Vassilis E Koliatsos, Edward B Lee, Harvey Levin, Jonathan Lifshitz, Helen Ling, David J Loane, Seth Love, Andrew IR Maas, Niklas Marklund, Christina L Master, Damien M McElvenny, David F Meaney, David K Menon, Thomas J Montine, Benoit Mouzon, Elliott J Mufson, Joseph O Ojo, Mayumi Prins, Tamas Revesz, Craig W Ritchie, Colin Smith, Richard Sylvester, Cheuk Y Tang, John Q Trojanowski, Kathryn Urankar, Robert Vink, Cheryl Wellington, Elisabeth A Wilde, Lindsay Wilson, Keith Yeates, Douglas H Smith. Primum non nocere: a call for balance when reporting on CTE. The Lancet Neurology, 2019; 18 (3): 231 DOI: 10.1016/S1474-4422(19)30020-1

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Northwell Health. “Balanced reporting of sports head injuries.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 February 2019. .

Northwell Health. (2019, February 12). Balanced reporting of sports head injuries. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 12, 2019 from

Northwell Health. “Balanced reporting of sports head injuries.” ScienceDaily. (accessed February 12, 2019).