PSY FPX 6840 Assessment 1 CTE and the effects on Cognitive Performance

PSY FPX 6840 Assessment 1 CTE and the effects on Cognitive Performance

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PSY FPX 6840 Assessment 1 CTE and the effects on Cognitive Performance

Student Name

Capella University

PSY FPX 6840 Current Issues in Sport Psychology

Prof. Name


Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and its Impact on Cognitive Functioning

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive neurodegenerative condition resulting from recurrent head injuries (Lepage et al., 2019). Its effects on cognition, mood, and behavior have been extensively documented (Laffey et al., 2018). Unfortunately, CTE can only be definitively diagnosed posthumously (Lepage et al., 2019). Having been a collegiate football athlete myself, I have personally observed how repetitive head traumas can undermine an athlete’s confidence and impair their performance (Barr, 2020). The intersection of sports-related concussions and CTE has garnered considerable global attention (Barr, 2020).

Psychological Interventions for Athletes at Risk of CTE

Sport psychology strives to optimize athletes’ mental well-being for peak performance (Lavaellee & Wylleman, 2000). However, CTE presents unique challenges in achieving this objective due to its cognitive and emotional ramifications (Laffey et al., 2018). Symptoms such as memory impairment, impulsivity, and depression can impede an athlete’s ability to excel (Laffey et al., 2018). Nevertheless, approaches like goal-setting, concentration techniques, and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) offer promising avenues for managing stressors associated with CTE (Lavaellee & Wylleman, 2000).

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as an Effective Strategy

Among these strategies, CBT, particularly mindfulness techniques, emerges as effective in mitigating the impact of CTE (Lavaellee & Wylleman, 2000). By fostering self-awareness and regulating emotions, athletes can better cope with the challenges posed by CTE (Lavaellee & Wylleman, 2000).

Challenges and Stigma in Professional Football

In professional football, the emphasis on toughness often dissuades players from acknowledging or seeking assistance for head injuries (Barr, 2020). This stigma has led to legal disputes between former players and the NFL regarding negligence in managing head trauma cases (Abreu et al., 2016). However, conversations about concussions and CTE remain taboo in the league, with players fearing repercussions from team management (Abreu et al., 2016).

Emerging Research and Interventions

Despite these obstacles, ongoing research provides hope for managing and preventing CTE. Techniques such as low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) show promise in alleviating the neurological effects of traumatic brain injury, including CTE (Tsai, 2020). Furthermore, animal studies offer valuable insights into the progression of CTE pathology, informing potential interventions and treatment strategies (Kahriman et al., 2021).

In conclusion, addressing the intricate relationship between sports, head injuries, and mental health is imperative for safeguarding athletes’ well-being. Through the implementation of evidence-based interventions and the promotion of open dialogue, we can better support athletes at all levels in navigating the challenges posed by CTE.


Abreu, M. A., Cromartie, F. J., & Spradley, B. D. (2016). Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and former national football league player suicides. Sport Journal, 1-12.

Barr, W. B. (2020). Believers versus deniers: The radicalization of sports concussion and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) science. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne, 61(2), 151–162.

Kahriman, A., Bouley, J., Smith, T.W. et al. (2021) Mouse closed head traumatic brain injury replicates the histological tau pathology pattern of human disease: characterization of a novel model and systematic review of the literature. Acta Neuropathol Commun, 9, 118.

PSY FPX 6840 Assessment 1 CTE and the effects on Cognitive Performance

Lavaellee, D., & Wylleman, P. (2000). Career transitions in sport: International perspectives. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Lepage, C., Muehlmann, M., Tripodis, Y., Hufschmidt, J., Stamm, J., Green, K., Wrobel, P., Schultz, V., Weir, I., Alosco et al. (2019). Limbic system structure volumes and associated neurocognitive functioning in former NFL players. Brain Imaging and Behavior, 13(3), 725–734.

NFL Players Sound Off On Concussions. (2016, February 4). Associated Press.

PSY FPX 6840 Assessment 1 CTE and the effects on Cognitive Performance

Tsai. (2020). Preventive potential of low intensity pulsed ultrasound for chronic traumatic encephalopathy after repetitive head collisions in contact sports. Medical Hypotheses, 134.

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