Clinical Research



DIAGNOSE CTE Research Project

This new project entitled Diagnostics, Imaging, and Genetics Network for the Objective Study and Evaluation (DIAGNOSE) of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is looking to develop diagnostic criteria for CTE. Dr. Stern is the contact PI (other PI’s are J. Cummings, E. Reiman, and M. Shenton) of this $16 million, multi-center, multi-disciplinary, 7-year grant to further his initial work on the development of in vivo biomarkers for CTE and clinical diagnostic criteria. This study is funded by the NIH/NINDS and will begin recruitment in Spring 2016. Former NFL players, former college football players, and “control” participants between the ages of 45 and 74 will be recruited for examinations to be held at one of four locations (Boston, New York, Las Vegas, Scottsdale/Phoenix).


Visit the DIAGNOSE CTE Research Project website

Health Outreach Program for the Elderly Program Extension

Seeking Contact Sport Athletes – Both Men & Women

We are recruiting participants with a history of contact sports to help us understand how repetitive head impacts affect a person’s risk of developing later-life neurologic disorders.

CURRENTLY ENROLLING: To participate, email Alyssa Phelps or 617-358-6545

Learn More Here

LEGEND (Longitudinal Examination to Gather Evidence of Neurodegenerative Disease) Study

The study focuses on examining the effects of repetitive head impacts (like one may receive playing some organized sports) in living people. Participants complete online questionnaires and talk with a member of our study staff once a year over the phone so we may gather information on concussions, athletic history, medical history, and cognitive functioning. Participants can also choose to provide a saliva sample for genetic analysis. The goal is to track our participants’ progress over time, so we can see who develops problems down the road and who does not.


Learn More Here

DETECT (Diagnosing and Evaluating Traumatic Encephalopathy Using Clinical Tests) Study

This study is the first research project on CTE ever funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with support from the National Institute of Neurologic Diseases and Stroke (NINDS), the National Institute on Aging (NIA), and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). The ultimate goal of this study is to develop methods of diagnosing CTE during life through the use of a variety of tests, including MRI scans (such as diffusion tensor imaging), MRS scans (also known as a “virtual biopsy”), blood tests, and measures of proteins in spinal fluid. Participants will also undergo neurological, psychiatric, and cognitive assessments, as well as genetic testing.


DETECT Travel Sponsors Jetblue, NFL Players Association and Weldon.
Travel for the DETECT study is being sponsored in part by JetBlue and the NFL Players Association.

Research & Academic Articles

1. Stern RA, Daneshvar DH, Baugh CM, Seichepine DR, Montenigro PH, Riley DO, Fritts NG, Stamm JM, Robbins CA, McHale L, Simkin I, Stein TD, Alvarez VE, Goldstein LE, Budson AE, Kowall NW, Nowinski CJ, Cantu RC, McKee AC. Clinical presentation of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Neurology. 2013 Aug 21.

2. Mez J, Solomon T, Daneshvar D, Murphy L, Kiernan P, Montenigro P, Kriegel J, Abdolmohammadi B, Fry B, Babcock K, Adams J, Bourlas A, Papadopoulos Z, McHale L, Ardaugh B, Martin B, Dixon D, Nowinski C, Cjaisson C, Alvarez V, Tripodis Y, Stein T, Goldstein L, Katz D, Kowall N, Cantu R, Stern R, McKee A. Assessing clinicopathological correlation in chronic traumatic encephalopathy: rationale & methods for the UNITE study. Alzheimers Res Ther. 2015 Oct 12;7(1):62. doi: 10.1186/s13195-015-0148-8.

3. Mez J, Solomon TM, Daneshvar DH, Stein TD, McKee AC. Pathologically confirmed chronic traumatic encephalopathy in a 25 year old former college football player. JAMA Neurology, 2016, Jan 4:1-3. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2015.3998.

4. Montenigro PH, Alosco ML, Martin B, Daneshvar DH, Mez J, Chaisson C, Nowinski CJ, Au R, McKee AC, Cantu RC, McClean MD, Stern RA, Tripodis Y.Cumulative Head Impact Exposure Predicts Later-Life Depression, Apathy, Executive Dysfunction, and Cognitive Impairment in Former High School and College Football Players. J Neurotrauma. 2016.

5. Alosco M, Mez J, Kowall N, Stein T, Goldstein L, Cantu R, Katz D, Solomon T, Kiernan P, Murphy L, Abdolmohammadi B, Daneshvar Daniel, Montenigro P, Nowinski J, Stern R, McKee AC. Cognitive Reserve as a Modifier of Clinical Expression in Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy: A Preliminary Examination, J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2017 Winter;29(1):6-12. doi: 10.1176/appi.neuropsych.16030043.