Tiffany Priscilla ‘22
Bio: I am a senior Majoring in Neuroscience and Minoring in Psychology. I was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Title of Research: Cognitive Effects of CTE in NFL Playersr
Mentor: Dr. Molly Zimmerman, Department of Psychology
Abstract: Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) progressive neurodegenerative disease caused by repetitive head trauma, and is a common result of repetitive mild TBI. Unfortunately, CTE is very common within sports. This paper will discuss the cognitive effects of CTE among NFL players. Because CTE can only be diagnosed post-mortem, this review will focus on retired NFL players. This systematic review provides a comprehensive summary of the evidence of CTE amongst NFL players, its neuropathology, and its cognitive effects. Records were identified through a search of PubMed, Web of Science, PsychNet, and Google Scholar. CTE is characterized as a tau-protein neurodegenerative disease, where phosphorylated tau (p-tau) accumulates in sulci and peri-vascular regions of the brain. Results from the reviewed studies showed that commonly reported cognitive effects were mild cognitive impairments, which included memory impairments, executive functioning impairments, loss of attention, and loss of concentration. Areas with high p-tau are the frontal and medial temporal lobes, and there is significant atrophy in those regions as well as white matter tracts of the brain. The primary objective of this review was to provide a summary of descriptive data on CTE within NFL players. While there are numerous studies that examine the effects of CTE among retired NFL players, there are very few studies that discuss preventative measures. This systematic review will expand on the preventative measures for CTE within the NFL.