Neuroimaging assessment of early and late neurobiological sequelae of traumatic brain injury: implications for CTE.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been increasingly accepted as a major external risk factor for neurodegenerative morbidity and mortality. Recent evidence indicates that the resultant chronic neurobiological sequelae following head trauma may, at least in part, contribute to a pathologically distinct disease known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). The clinical manifestation of CTE is variable, but the symptoms of this progressive disease include impaired memory and cognition, affective disorders (i.e., impulsivity, aggression, depression, suicidality, etc.), and diminished motor control. Notably, mounting evidence suggests that the pathology contributing to CTE may be caused by repetitive exposure to subconcussive hits to the head, even in those with no history of a clinically evident head injury. Given the millions of athletes and military personnel with potential exposure to repetitive subconcussive insults and TBI, CTE represents an important public health issue. However, the incidence rates and pathological mechanisms are still largely unknown, primarily due to the fact that there is no in vivo diagnostic tool. The primary objective of this manuscript is to address this limitation and discuss potential neuroimaging modalities that may be capable of diagnosing CTE in vivo through the detection of tau and other known pathological features. Additionally, we will discuss the challenges of TBI research, outline the known pathology of CTE (with an emphasis on Tau), review current neuroimaging modalities to assess the potential routes for in vivo diagnosis, and discuss the future directions of CTE research.
Sundman, M; Doraiswamy, PM; Morey, RA
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