Latest Confirmed Case of CTE Reveals Progress, More Questions

January 5, 2016

In an editorial published online in JAMA Neurology, James M. Noble, MD, MS, CPH, assistant professor of neurology (in the Taub Institute and the Sergievsky Center) at Columbia University Medical Center, notes that the case history presented in an article by Mez and colleagues, “offers an opportunity to highlight a number of important, ongoing developments in the field of concussion and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), but also underscores the many substantial, unresolved, and essential questions left unanswered in the field.” In the 10 years since the first reported case of football-associated CTE, researchers are working to obtain a more accurate estimate of the number of concussions that occur among young athletes, determine the threshold at which concussions and subconcussive events cause neuronal injury, and identify potential biomarkers for CTE. Noble concludes, “Hopefully, in another 10 years, some of these questions will be answered, refined, or inform others raised in context, and the chains will have been moved down the field a few more yards.”