There is a national debate regarding the existence of a relationship between contact sport participation and future risk of neurodegenerative disease. We employed bibliometrics and altmetrics to quantify the Academic, popular, and social media impact of published scientific articles which report an association between contact sports or military service with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE+) and compare to those scientific articles which report null or no association of contact sports or military service with CTE (CTE-). In this cross-sectional study, we extracted number of citations, total link strength, altmetric score, number of news stories, media outlets, and Twitter interaction, from published CTE articles. The top 10 most-cited articles were statistically compared on these outcomes using Mann-Whitney U tests. CTE+ publications had an average of 101 citations per article, Altmetric score of 272, 36 news stories in 26 media outlets, and upper-bound of Twitter users of 402,159. CTE- publications had an average of 29 citations per article, Altmetric score of 39, 2 news stories and media outlets, and upper-bound of Twitter users of 91,070. Top-10 CTE+ publications had, on average: 94% more citations (p<0.001), 95% higher Altmetric scores (p=0.01), 99% higher number of news stories (p=0.01), 98% higher number of media outlets (p=0.01) and reached 95% more Twitter users than top-10 CTE- publications (p=0.11). The bibliometric analysis indicates a significant inequality in media dissemination and popular consumption of scientific findings that do not support a relationship between contact sports or military service and future neurodegeneration.
ADULT BRAIN INJURY; MILITARY INJURY; NEURODEGENERATIVE DISORDERS.