This study is enrolling men, ages 45-74, from one of the following 3 groups:
Former NFL Players:
Who played three or more seasons in the NFL
Former College Football Players:
Who played three or more seasons of varsity football at the college level
Who never played organized contact sports after college
Who have NO history of participation in organized contact sports
Who are NOT diagnosed with brain disorders including dementia and depression
Who do NOT have significant problems with memory, thinking, mood, or behavior
About the Study:
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative brain disease associated with repetitive hits to the head, such as those experiences in football and other contact sports. Currently, CTE can only be diagnosed after death. The major goal of this research project is to develop methods of diagnosing CTE during life, so interventions can be developed to help those diagnosed with the disease.
Goals of the DIAGNOSE CTE Research Project:
To collect and analyze neuroimaging and fluid biomarkers for the detection of CTE during life.
To characterize the clinical presentation of CTE.
To examine the progression of CTE over a three year period.
To refine and validate diagnostic criteria for the clinical diagnosis of CTE.
To investigate genetic and head impact exposure risk factors for CTE.
To share project data with researchers across the country and abroad in order to expedite growth in our understanding and treatment of this disease.
The ultimate goal is to be able to prevent and treat CTE and other long term consequences of repetitive head impacts in athletes, military personnel, and others.
What is Involved:
A three day visit to one of the four study sites for:
A thorough medical history and neurological exam
A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan of your brain
Collection of blood and saliva samples
A spinal tap (also called a lumbar puncture) so we can collect fluid from your spinal column
Two Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans to detect if there are elevations of specific proteins in your brain.
Completion of questionnaires on your mood and behavior
A set of standardized tests of your memory and other cognitive skills
All travel expenses are covered. In addition, participants may receive compensation.