OUR MISSION

‘Our mission is to understand CTE, a younger-onset dementia, with the aim of creating precision medicine approaches, transformative research, and community translation programs that will benefit individuals and their families’.

Biobanking is rapidly becoming the gold standard within health and medical research globally. Biobanking addresses the need for large amounts of data and samples required to answer complex questions within medicine and healthcare. The Australian CTE Biobank was founded by Macquarie University in 2022, with biological samples being housed at the NSW Statewide Biobank. Samples are collected annually from patients who are participating in the Australian CTE Biobanking project. 

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WHAT IS CTE?

CTE is a subtype of dementia in which many repeated injuries to a person’s head, including whiplash, is thought to lead to abnormal tau protein within the brain and a loss of neurons or their connections over time. CTE was called "punch drunk" syndrome or dementia pugilistica but these terms are no longer used. It is important to recognise that CTE can be due to non-sporting contact, including explosions or blast trauma, violent assault, family and domestic violence, or frequent falls leading to head impacts. Those with epilepsy, frailty, or blindness may be at higher risk of falls and head injury. 


CTE has been shown extensively in professional American football players, where symptoms in life have been correlated to the changes seen after death at brain autopsy. The earlier and the longer someone has played, the higher the risk. It is thought that brain vibration and torsion, neuroinflammation, age, vascular risk or genetic profile are amongst factors that may play a role in the development of CTE dementia or dementia as a whole. Seemingly minor head knocks, called subconcussions, as well as concussion are thought to increase the risk of developing CTE dementia. However, a single or small number of head knocks is unlikely to be a problem, and it is recognised that not all athletes exposed to this degree of mTBI will develop CTE. Research in this field remains early, and many questions about the way that CTE develops are unanswered. 


There is no single test for CTE, however the likelihood of having CTE dementia can be identified by seeing a doctor and medical team qualified in the assessment of brain injury. The team may include neurologists, neuropsychiatrists, geriatricians, sports physicians, or rehabilitation specialists. Although there is no cure, prevention, and care for those at risk of CTE is vital for good quality of life. 

 
First aid for head injuries and Considered for all trauma incidents of worker in work, Los

WHY A BIOBANK?

Every donation counts

Any of us could have a head injury in sport or life. The new Australia CTE Biobank aims to understand repeated mild traumatic brain injury, and the incidence and prevalence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE within the community. CTE is a neurodegenerative condition or type of dementia related to repetitive head trauma in certain sporting and non-sporting environments. Our work will better understand the characteristics of CTE in life, with the opportunity to correlate neuropathological findings after death. This vital work will fill in the gaps for earlier CTE diagnosis, individualised management, prevention and it is hoped, cure.

Biobanking is rapidly becoming the gold standard within health and medical research globally. Biobanking addresses the need for large amounts of data and samples required to answer complex questions within medicine and healthcare. The Australian CTE Biobank was founded by Macquarie University in 2022, with biological samples being housed at the NSW Statewide Biobank. Samples are collected annually from patients who are participating in the Australian CTE Biobanking project. 

 
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WHAT IS A BIOBANK DONATION?

3 main types

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BIOSAMPLES

The ACB collect biological samples including blood for the purposes of current and future research

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COGNITIVE AND OTHER TESTING

Clinical data from neurology, neuro-ophthalmology, and neuropsychology. Patients are assessed periodically to understand patterns of dementia and decline

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BRAIN IMAGING

MRI and other specialist brain imaging can help us to understand loss of volume, loss of connections, or abnormal changes within the brain in CTE.