Research Reports - Chronic traumatic encephalopathy: neurodegeneration following repetitive concussive and subconcussive brain trauma

Brain Imaging Behav. 2012 Jun;6(2):244-54

Baugh CM, Stamm JM, Riley DO, Gavett BE, Shenton ME, Lin A, Nowinski CJ, Cantu, RC, McKee AC, Stern RA

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a neurodegenerative disease thought to
be caused, at least in part, by repetitive brain trauma, including concussive and
subconcussive injuries. It is thought to result in executive dysfunction, memory
impairment, depression and suicidality, apathy, poor impulse control, and
eventually dementia. Beyond repetitive brain trauma, the risk factors for CTE
remain unknown. CTE is neuropathologically characterized by aggregation and
accumulation of hyperphosphorylated tau and TDP-43. Recent postmortem findings
indicate that CTE may affect a broader population than was initially
conceptualized, particularly contact sport athletes and those with a history of
military combat. Given the large population that could potentially be affected,
CTE may represent an important issue in public health. Although there has been
greater public awareness brought to the condition in recent years, there are
still many research questions that remain. Thus far, CTE can only be diagnosed
post-mortem. Current research efforts are focused on the creation of clinical
diagnostic criteria, finding objective biomarkers for CTE, and understanding the
additional risk factors and underlying mechanism that causes the disease. This
review examines research to date and suggests future directions worthy of

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