Proteinopathies and Neurotrauma: Update on Degenerative Cascades - Abstract
Neurotrauma, especially repetitive neurotrauma, is associated with the development of progressive neurodegeneration leading to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Exposure to neurotrauma regularly occurs during sports and military service, often not requiring medical care. However, exposure to severe and/or repeated sub-clinical neurotrauma has been shown cause physical and psychological disability, leading to reduce life expectancy. Misfolding of proteins, or proteinopathy, is a pathological hallmark of CTE, in which chronic injury leads to local and diffuse protein aggregates. These aggregates are an overlapping feature of many neurodegenerative diseases such as CTE, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s disease. Neurotrauma is also a significant risk factor for the development of these diseases, however the mechanism’s underlying this association are not well understood. While phosphorylated tau aggregates are the primary feature of CTE, amyloid-beta, Transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43), and alpha-synuclein (aSyn) are also well documented. Aberrant misfolding of these proteins has been shown to disrupt brain homeostasis leading to neurodegeneration in a disease dependent manor. In CTE, the interaction between proteinopathies and their associated neurodegeneration is a current area of study. Here we provide an update on current literature surrounding the prevalence, characteristics, and pathogenesis of proteinopathies in CTE.