Postmortem evaluation of chronic traumatic encephalopathy
O. Chiroban, L. P. Dumbravă
Abstract: Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is the modern concept naming the neurodegenerative processes
occurring in patients with positive medical history of repeated brain trauma and progressive dementia. Morphologically, CTE
is classified as being a distinct member of the tauopathies family, with different distribution of tau-positive neurofibrillary
tangles (NFTs) and low to none beta-amyloid deposits, contrasting the most famous member of the family: Alzheimer’s disease
(AD). As opposed to other of its kind, the neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) are spread in the form of irregular, perivascular, patchy
disseminations throughout frontal and temporal cortex, especially in the superficial cerebral layers, leaning for sulcal depths.
The previously mentioned characteristics constitute the hallmark signature of CTE. Although the connection between repeated
concussions and CTE has been recently proposed, the startup path is still a mysterious topic. It remains, up to a point, common to
all tauopathies, yet overpasses all genders, sex and age. Initially, considered a professional disease in boxing, scientific overviews
link CTE to military service, sports and even daily activities. It is a consensus that a moderate traumatic event sustained during
life-spam was correlated with 2.3 fold increase in the risk of developing dementia, while severe concussion augments up 4 times
the chances. By the same token, considering the broad population with potential exposure to repetitive insults, CTE represents an
important public health issue. The main purpose of this scientific article is to highlight the neuropathological features encountered
and discuss the limitations of proper diagnostic. Keywords: chronic traumatic encephalopathy, forensic pathology, trauma, neurodegeneration.