Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is characterized by the accumulation of tau protein deposits in the form of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs), glial tangles, and neuropil threads in the brain....which cause brain cell death and in the later stages brain atrophy. The regional brain distribution of these protein deposits is unique to CTE.
The above findings were the result of a blinded review of three tissue samples from unidentified brains including NFL player Junior Seau.
Little is known about the cause of this disease which results in signs of cognitive impairment and personality changes especially depression.
Recall from my earlier reviews that tau NFTs are also seen in the brains of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease...although different in pattern of distribution.
Brain 2012;E-pub 2012 Dec. 2