CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy)
What is CTE?
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative brain disease found in people with a history of repetitive brain trauma. This persistent brain trauma triggers progressive brain tissue degeneration, including the buildup of an abnormal protein called tau. CTE is prevalent in those with a history of symptomatic concussions and repetitive blows to the head, with symptoms of the brain trauma occurring years later.
CTE is common amongst contact-sport players, such as football, boxing and hockey, as well as military veterans. In a study conducted by the Department of Veteran Affairs and Boston University, the brains of 177 American football players were examined. Results concluded that 99% of NFL players’ brains, and as high as 21% of high schooler’s, showed signs of CTE.
Using Medical Marijuana to Alleviate Symptoms
Symptoms of CTE include memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, impulse control problems, aggression, depression, suicidality, parkinsonism, and eventually progressive dementia. Medical marijuana has been shown to be a neuroprotectant and increase blood flow to damaged areas of the brain, helping to alleviate some of these CTE symptoms. Dr. Ron Tuma at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University has studied the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids and stated that:
“With CTE, and other injuries to the central nervous system, inflammation plays a very important role in exacerbating the injury… so it’s the interaction of cannabinoids with the inflammatory process that gives us the hope that it will have therapeutic benefit.”
The information provided should not be used as a substitution for physician knowledge. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment with medicinal marijuana.