Dissertation - Public Access
Psy.D. Doctor of Clinical Psychology
Dr. Sandra Zakowski
Dr. Brad Olson
Dr. Pat Walsh
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that emerges as a result of repetitive mild traumatic brain injury and has been studied within athletes of all sports. Repetitive blows to the brain are associated with many pathological changes and an emergence of tau pathology, all of which can lead to presentation with cognitive dysfunction, behavioral changes, and further motor decline in the later stages. After passing the inclusion criteria, a meta-analysis comprising four articles was computed using Comprehensive Meta-Analysis Version 3. Two hypotheses were examined: (a) the earlier the age of exposure to football, the greater the likelihood the athlete will show CTE symptoms; and (b) athletes who play at a position with high or full contact, such as an offensive lineman, will have a higher likelihood of showing CTE symptoms than players of low-contact positions, such as special teams. Only the first hypothesis had sufficient studies to conduct a meta-analysis; thus, Hypothesis 2 could not be examined. Results of the random effects meta-analysis did not show significant effects for age as a predictor of CTE. Hedges’ g was estimated to be -.273 (SE = .213) with p = .20 (CI95% = -.691–.145). This review did not provide evidence to support either hypothesis. Study limitations and implications for future research are discussed.
Vora, Eisha, "Predictors of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in NFL Players: A Meta Analysis Review" (2023). Dissertations. 740.