Watch Dr Claire Shepherd accept her research grant and hear a bit about the project.
There is considerable scientific and community interest in the consequences of repetitive traumatic brain injury (TBI) and global public concern that even mild head injury may lead to a progressive neurodegenerative disorder known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in later life. However, the scientific knowledge in this area is preliminary and there is an urgent need for accelerated research efforts.
The current research program will investigate the presence of CTE in the brain tissue of a large population of well-characterised individuals held by the Sydney Brain Bank and determine any association with TBI exposure. One of the most promising and unique advantages of examining CTE in this large Australian brain bank cohort is that the donors are all collected through longitudinal, prospective brain donor programs.
This study will directly address our understanding of the relationship between TBI and CTE. It will also provide essential validation of current neuropathological diagnostic and staging criteria. In turn, this will help our understanding of potential disease progression. It will also provide essential information required for directing future research efforts to further advance the scientific knowledge, such as developing effective animal models of the disease, which are required to understand disease mechanism and test potential therapeutic strategies.