Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathies: A Neurodegenerative Disorder as a Result of Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries
Concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) caused by participation in contact sports are becoming a significant public health crisis, especially considering the number of individuals in the United States who are now living with the long-term effects of TBIs. Athletes who choose not to report that they are experiencing a possible injury event, or who choose not to make safe decisions about removing themselves from play after an injury, put themselves at increased risk of sustaining lasting neurological damage. There is an increasing body of evidence which suggests that concussive and sub-concussive impacts alike cause the development of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a progressive, neurodegenerative tauopathy, which may cause declining mental and motor faculties, dementia, and possibly even death. This presentation will discuss multiple facets of CTE, including findings surrounding the psychosocial models the researcher used to explore the experiences of athletes and coaches, as well as the biological model for the progression of the disease, and the researcher’s current projects using Xenopus tadpoles as the model organism.