A Model for Predicting Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)

A model for predicting chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)


Tech ID: ley000981



Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a neurodegenerative condition that presents clinically as a composite syndrome of mood disorders, behavioral and cognitive impairment, which may come with or without sensorimotor impairment. This condition leads to pathological abnormalities in the brain such as neuronal loss and significant proteinopathy. CTE is found in people who have had traumatic brain injury (TBI) such as football players. The initial symptoms associated with concussion injuries, which are a type of TBI include headache, blurred vision, and amnesia that resolve within days in some, but not all, victims. A large number of patients are left with chronic symptoms, some of which are severe enough to be associated with long-term behavioral deficits. Clinical trials evaluating neuroprotective agents to improve clinical function after TBI have failed to yield an FDA-approved agent to date. Reasons for failure are numerous, primarily related to inadequate preclinical development, poor compound choice, and inadequate patient population selection. There is currently no valid system to early diagnose the presence of CTE while the patient is alive. CTE is currently diagnosed only after death.


Technology Description

• Drs. Eric Ley and Gretchen Thomsen at CSMC have created a novel non-transgenic rat model of CTE. A total of 42 rats, 26 WT and 16 SOD1 rats, were examined over a study period of 25 weeks (or endpoint). The model demonstrates permanent functional deficits in WT rats, as well as earlier development of the ALS phenotype in SOD1 rats. 


• There are currently no traumatic brain injury models that lead to long-term deficits in motor function with respective CTE brain pathology. Using their model they are able to determine which rodents develop CTE based on changes in balance, motor function loss and memory loss. This model is a useful tool to better understand the disease as well as to test treatment strategies that can be translated to the clinic.



This animal model provides an understanding of the effects of head injury on professional athletes, military personnel, and those predisposed to neurodegenerative diseases as well as allow testing of novel therapeutic strategies, thus having significant potential for application in clinical translation.



• This animal model could be used for drug screening for companies developing novel therapeutics for concussion and CTE.

• The model can also be used to develop early diagnosis of CTE based on clinical observations.


Intellectual Property

US provisional patent application filed.


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Wenyue Du
Associate - IP Management & Licensing
Eric Ley
Gretchen Thomsen