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Chronic traumatic encephalopathy: an update review


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Abstract

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a progressive neurodegenerative disease occurring in retired sportspersons who have received several head blows with concussions during their games. The clinical symptoms start with mood disorders and with a progressive evolution into dementia and Parkinsonism. The disease is due to a progressive accumulation of hyperphosphorilated tau in neurons as neurofibrillary tangles, abnormal neurites and inclusions in astrocytes around small vessels. There is a tendency of the lesions to occur in clusters at the sulcal depths of the cerebral cortex. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy has to be differentiated from Alzheimer’s disease, in which head trauma can also increase the illness symptoms. Recently, new tracers in positron emission topography of the brain have been used for a better evaluation of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. There is actually no treatment that allows to cure or to slowdown the evolution of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. However, new treatment studies are recently conducted and in progress.

Keywords

chronic traumatic encephalopathy, traumatic brain injury, alzheimer’s disease, positron emission tomography

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