Dr Emer MacSweeney speaks with Health Tech World about the DTI imaging to provide  objective evidence of  CTE in international rugby players.


Dr MacSweeney explains how microscopic structural changes in the brain can be  detected with advanced DTI (diffusion tensor imaging) on MRI scans of the brain. These changes are  not visible on high field,  state of the art, conventional MRI scans.


CTE is a progressive brain disease which is caused by repetitive  brain injuries including concussions and less severe  blows to the head. First formally acknowledged by the NFL in America football players, CTE is now increasingly  linked to professional football and rugby players and other contact sports.


Dr MacSweeney explains that CTE goes relatively undetected until clinical symptoms, which develop very gradually,  are quite advanced.  These symptoms include changes in behaviour , including   anger and  impulsivity; movement, including coordination, tremors and balance and mental health, including low mood, depression, anxiety. CTE can also affect  one’s ability to ability to think clearly, remember, make decision and solve problems.


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