American College of Physicians Internal Medicine Meeting
American College of Physicians Internal Medicine Meeting
May 23, 2016
3 min watch

VIDEO: Expert examines relationship between neurodegenerative diseases, head trauma

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WASHINGTON — Martin A. Samuels, MD, DSc (Hon), MACP, FANA, chair of the department of neurology at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Miriam Sydney Joseph Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, shared several updates in the field of neurology, including advances in stroke, Parkinson's disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, here at the annual American College of Physicians Internal Medicine Meeting.

Part of his update specifically focused on head trauma, concussion and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

"We all know, of course, that head trauma is inherently bad for the brain — there's no debate about that,"

Samuels discussed the origins of CTE, including the first-known case of dementia pugilistica and the role of tau protein, and then delved into recent updates.

"In recent months and years, however, the argument has been made largely by the Boston University Medical Center in New England that a disease dominated by tau could be caused by a less severe head trauma, perhaps ordinary head trauma, that might be acquired in the course of ordinary athletic activities that children and young adults participate in," Samuels said. "This is actually a very worrisome possibility, because it makes one wonder whether neurodegenerative diseases can be generated by head trauma."