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Neurol Clin Pract. 2015 Aug;5(4):285-295.

Evaluating and treating neurobehavioral symptoms in professional American football players: Lessons from a case series.

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Memory and Aging Center (RCG, KLP, LTG, BIC-S, PMG, SL, JM, JHK, BLM, KY, GDR), Department of Neurology, Department of Radiology & Biomedical Imaging (CPH), Department of Pathology (EJH, ALN), Department of Neurosurgery (MSB), and Departments of Psychiatry and Epidemiology and Biostatistics (KY), University of California, San Francisco; and San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center (RCG, KY), San Francisco, CA.


In the aftermath of multiple high-profile cases of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in professional American football players, physicians in clinical practice are likely to face an increasing number of retired football players seeking evaluation for chronic neurobehavioral symptoms. Guidelines for the evaluation and treatment of these patients are sparse. Clinical criteria for a diagnosis of CTE are under development. The contribution of CTE vs other neuropathologies to neurobehavioral symptoms in these players remains unclear. Here we describe the experience of our academic memory clinic in evaluating and treating a series of 14 self-referred symptomatic players. Our aim is to raise awareness in the neurology community regarding the different clinical phenotypes, idiosyncratic but potentially treatable symptoms, and the spectrum of underlying neuropathologies in these players.

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