A Novel Method To Model Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy In Drosophila
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) has been in the medical literature since the 1920s. Notably Winston et al. who did not find evidence of cognitive deficits on the Morris water maze (MWM), did see an emergence of anxiety-like behavior at 1 year post injury that was not evident at 6 months, suggesting a progressive, rather than static, disease course 36 As such, it is evident that there are a number of models based on modification of the CCI device that can replicate aspects seen clinically following rmTBI, although there are also limitations due to the difficulty in generating the same mechanical forces seen clinically.
Functional MRIs have proven to help differentiate among various neurodegenerative disease, including Alzheimer's disease, Lewy body dementia, and FTD ( 33 ). Thus, they also may be effective in distinguishing CTE from these other types of neurodegenerative states.
The occasional cases in the DP literature with middle age onset dementia and frank AD pathology, 5 for example, suggest early onset AD rather than DP. 5 , 50 Finally, although only 10% of Parkinson disease patients have a positive family history, some pathogenic mutations produce substantia nigra degeneration without synucleinopathy (e.g., LRRK, parkin), 81 which may be considered in athletes with early onset parkinsonism, substantia nigra degeneration at autopsy, and no Lewy bodies.
The samples will be collected under a protocol by Dr. Kendall Van-Keuren Jensen entitled "The quantification of biomarkers in the blood, urine, and saliva of contact sport players and control subjects." The study will look to enroll individuals self-identified as a current or previous contact sport player or athlete of a non-contact sport who are 20 years of age or older and are willing to participate in the study and provide biospecimens.
A potential criticism of these models is that although the head is struck directly, the model is less able to generate either rotational or linear acceleration forces due to the typical placement of the head within a stereotaxic device, and thus cannot model the mechanical forces that typically induce concussions clinically 44 To assist in this modifications have been utilized within some studies, including replacement of the stereotaxic device with a molded, gel filled base 36 or placement of animals within a plastic restraint cone on a foam bed 35 to allow more movement of the head, with further characterization needed to analyze the specific types of forces generated.
Now that one of the players has died and doctors have been able to take a closer look at his brain, they have confirmed the CTE diagnosis. While CTE is linked to a history of repeated concussions, up to 20 percent of cases have no history of concussion, NPR reported.
The main clinical phenotypes are: behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), primary progressive aphasia, FTD-motor neuron disease (FTD-MND), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), and corticobasal syndrome (CBS). The study comes at a time when the link between CTE and participation in football is under scrutiny.
This data doesn't cover the countless more blows to the head that don't reach the level of concussion but still may pose a risk for the brain. For more information on concussions, visit the Concussion Legacy Foundation's Concussion Resources For more information on physicians in your area who work with those suffering from brain trauma, please use the Concussion Clinics search tool.
The literature review ends with a discussion of the research needed to draw definitive conclusions between exposure to head injury, CTE-associated pathology, and clinical symptoms. Some football players with CTE-like symptoms have been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and CTE symptoms may also overlap with other conditions that affect the brain.
Roberts AH. Brain damage CTE in boxers: a study of the prevalence of traumatic encephalopathy among ex-professional boxers. The disease is characterized by a number of neurological and physiological changes in the brain including the buildup of an abnormal protein called tau.
1. Stern RA, Riley DO, Daneshvar DH, Nowinski CJ, Cantu RC, McKee AC. Long-term consequences of repetitive brain trauma: chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Dementia pugilistica, identified in boxers in the 1920s, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a more recent term, are thought to be the same disorder.
It's this rapid motion of the brain inside the skull that creates the traumatic brain injury known as a concussion. Five football players, including our Case 1, had neuropathologically verified CTE at autopsy. For example, in football players with pathology consistent with the current understanding of CTE, some have a history of at least one concussion and some do not.