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J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2016 Winter;28(1):9-16. doi: 10.1176/appi.neuropsych.15070172. Epub 2015 Oct 9.

Suicide and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.

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From the Dept. of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School, the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, the MassGeneral Hospital for Children Sports Concussion Program, and the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program, Boston.


For nearly 80 years, suicidality was not considered to be a core clinical feature of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). In recent years, suicide has been widely cited as being associated with CTE, and now depression has been proposed to be one of three core diagnostic features alongside cognitive impairment and anger control problems. This evolution of the clinical features has been reinforced by thousands of media stories reporting a connection between mental health problems in former athletes and military veterans, repetitive neurotrauma, and CTE. At present, the science underlying the causal assumption between repetitive neurotrauma, depression, suicide, and the neuropathology believed to be unique to CTE is inconclusive. Epidemiological evidence indicates that former National Football League players, for example, are at lower, not greater, risk for suicide than men in the general population. This article aims to discuss the critical issues and literature relating to these possible relationships.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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