(HealthDay News) – Two distinct clinical patterns are seen in patients with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), according to a study published online Aug. 21 in Neurology.

Robert A. Stern, PhD, from Boston University, and colleagues studied 36 adult male athletes with neuropathologically confirmed CTE. Included subjects had no comorbid neurodegenerative or motor neuron disease and had next-of-kin informants to provide retrospective reports of the subjects’ histories and clinical presentations, with the interviews blind to the subjects’ neuropathologic findings.

The researchers found that, overall, a triad of cognitive, behavioral, and mood impairments was common. Cognitive deficits were reported for almost all subjects. At the time of death, three subjects were asymptomatic. Two relatively distinct clinical presentations emerged: one group whose initial features developed at a younger age and involved behavioral and/or mood disturbance (22 subjects) and a second group whose initial presentation developed at an older age and involved cognitive impairment (11 subjects).

“This suggests there are two major clinical presentations of CTE, one a behavior/mood variant and the other a cognitive variant,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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