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Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)

Overview

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a neurodegenerative disorder thought to be associated with exposure to repetitive head trauma.  CTE is characterized neuropathologically by hyerphosopholarated tau (p- tau) deposition throughout the brain. The first reported clinical cases were described in boxers in the early 1900’s and described as “punch drunk” and since that time the terminology has evolved and is currently referred to as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or “CTE.”  Over the last decade, there has been increased awareness of the long term effect of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) in both the military and sports populations.  Clinically, these individuals may present with constellation of chronic symptoms including mood, cognitive, behavioral and motor disturbances. A definitive diagnosis of CTE is made by post mortem macroscopic and histopathological accumulation of p-tau. Genetic influences such as  Apolipoprotein E ε4 (APOE ε4) have been suggested to increase susceptibility to CTE after repetitive head trauma.
Future studies for clinical studies should focus on identification of diagnostic tools such as biomarkers, advanced neuroimaging, and neuropsychological testing to provide a diagnosis for CTE.

 

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