Australian experts investigating silent condition plaguing athletes worldwide
Sport is ingrained in Australian culture.
But there’s a serious condition plaguing former athletes across the globe and it’s caught the attention of Australian medical experts.
The Australian Sports Brain Bank opened earlier this year and is looking into the impact of repetitive concussions on the brain.
Dr Michael Buckland is heading the research and tells Deborah Knight athletes from various sports, including jockeys, have donated their brains to the cause.
“What we’re looking at is… someone who has lots of small knocks to the head and over a period of time, maybe ten years after they’ve finished playing sport, they start to develop a progressive neurological disorder.”
The condition is known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), and it can’t be diagnosed until after a person has died.
Mr Buckland says we still don’t know how common the condition is in Australia but the presentations of the disease are varied.
“If it comes on later in life it can look a lot like Alzheimer’s disease.
“If it comes on earlier in life… it’ll often have a much more psychiatric, psychological presentation where they get depression and anxiety.”
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