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Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Discussion Paper
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)
CTE is a degenerative brain disease thought to be linked to repeated head trauma . It has been widely discussed in scientific journals and media outlets (perhaps reaching its widest audience in the 2015 film “Concussion”) due in part to it’s link to sports-related concussions.
The most straightforward avenue of CTE research is done by performing autopsies on donated brains to look for evidence of CTE; an organization called the Brain Bank has examined over 600 brains, including those of athletes and military service members, and found significant links between head trauma and CTE .
They also found evidence that younger athletes are more susceptible to developing CTE, and that longer exposure to head impacts over a longer career increases the likelihood of CTE . Building upon their research, other scientists recently identified that a protein called tau may play a major role in the development of CTE symptoms .
Importantly, this protein – which is also connected to dementia and is found in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) around the brain and spinal cord – can be analyzed in living subjects via a spinal tap, allowing clinicians to better monitor the progression of the disease. While research is still ongoing, CTE and it’s possible causes and symptoms will continue to be discussed, as further misfortunes like the suicide of Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots tight end (and convicted murderer, and CTE sufferer ) are likely to continue.
 Research Gaps and Controversies in Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy A Review
 Concussion Legacy Foundation: VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank
 Study finds biomarker of CTE in some former athletes with multiple concussions
 Wikipedia: Aaron Hernandez
What feelings or questions did this topic evoke? Do some research and then post your thoughts about organ transplants. You may want to research or ponder the following areas:
Remember that in addition to your discussion post, you must converse with at least one other student by replying to their post with your own question or comment.
Student: No, I have not been affected by this topic and brain injuries can lead to a loss of control over emotions. Moreover, this type of injury, called emotional lability, affects how the patient reacts to specific situations, which plays a major role in noticeable personality changes.
As a result of its posthumous diagnosis, CTE has been linked with memory loss, depression, aggression, and in some cases, suicide thoughts. More than 315 former National Football League players have been diagnosed with degenerative brain disease at the Boston University Brain Sciences Center.
Patients with CTE have one thing in common: a history of repeated head injuries. CTE is most commonly found in former contact sport athletes and military veterans.
If you play contact sports, you should wear the recommended protective equipment, follow your doctor’s advice when it comes to returning to play after a concussion, and make sure that any contact sport you play is supervised by someone who knows what they’re doing.
As well as being protected by the skull and three thin membranes called meninges, the brain is also cushioned and protected by cerebrospinal fluid. Cells in the four hollow spaces of the brain, called ventricles, produce this watery fluid.