Dementia pugilistica, also known as punch drunk syndrome, boxer’s syndrome, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), is a neurodegenerative illness due to several head injuries. This is found among many athletes, soldiers, and other individuals exposed to repeated blows to the head. As many as around 30% of those who have a history of multiple banging of the head are known to be diagnosed with dementia pugilistica. Often, the symptoms manifest around 16 years after the physical trauma. The indicators include behavioral, cognitive, and mood problems which may progress to dementia over time.
The symptoms occur in four stages; during the first stage, patients usually complain of headache, disorientation, and dizziness. They may also present symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In the second stage, impulsiveness, forgetfulness, poor decision-making skills, and social instability are demonstrated. The third and fourth stages include vertigo, reduced facial expression, tremors, deafness, movement and sensory processing disorders, speed impediment, depression, and suicide tendencies. Treatment is merely supportive as there is no cure.