Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version

Spring 3-11-2019


Pierson A. 2019. The Extreme Effects of ‘Not-so-minor’ Concussions: Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Literature Review. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright Alyssa Pierson 2019.


Many of the concerns that people have with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) have already been researched for almost a century, but recently, there has been a big push in CTE research. Previous research was done on boxing and football and has now expanded to other contact sports and the military. Risk factors for CTE include repetitive head trauma, the Apoe4 allele, and age of first exposure to brain trauma. A wide range of symptoms may present with CTE, from motor impairment to suicidal ideation. It is believed that a biopsychosocial model should be used when approaching the symptoms of CTE patients. Current research is trying to determine the main pathology or pathologies of CTE and have determined that there are both macroscopic and microscopic pathologies. The only definitive cases of CTE have been determined by an autopsy, but with the use of biomarkers and advances in neuroimaging, hopefully CTE can be diagnosed in living persons and work can be done to find a treatment.