Dr. Ann McKee: Why Don't Some People Show Symptoms of CTE in Its Earliest Stages?

Dr. Ann McKee explains why some people don’t show symptoms in the early stages of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

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CTE’s like many other neurodegenerative diseases in that you can develop the pathology and be relatively resistant to the pathology and be on a – you’re coping, that’s what the cognitive reserve’s all about. You’re coping with the level of injury. It’s like you’re circumventing the problem. You’ve got a very plastic brain that can go take different roads and get to the same place, but there’s a certain where the pathology becomes so dense and so severe that even though you’re highly intelligent, even though that you’ve got a very well-functioning nervous system to begin with, at some point you sort of go over a cliff. And that’s when that person becomes overtly symptomatic and often you see a fairly rapid decline at that point. That’s very similar to Alzheimer’s disease that there’s coping and then eventually just a very steady decline. This video was produced by BrainLine thanks to generous support from the Infinite Hero Foundation.
Posted on BrainLine January 11, 2019.

This video was produced by BrainLine thanks to generous support from the Infinite Hero Foundation.

About the author: Ann McKee, MD

Ann McKee, MD is the chief neuropathologist for the Framingham Heart Study and the Boston University-based Centenarian Study. She is also the chief neuropathologist for the Boston-based Veterans Administration Medical Centers and for the Sports Legacy Institute.

Ann McKee