Boston University study suggests a way to diagnose CTE in living people

Researchers working to identify a means of diagnosing Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in living persons experienced another breakthrough today. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine by a collaboration of researchers led by Dr. Robert Stern, Director of Clinical Research at the BU CTE Center, found elevated tau protein levels in a small group of living former NFL players.
Using positron emission tomography (PET) scans, researchers compared living former NFL players experiencing symptoms consistent with CTE against a control group. The former players’ brains were found to have significantly higher tau levels than the controls, and the tau was present in specific regions of the brain where CTE is normally found post-mortem.
This study marks a significant step towards a clinical diagnosis of CTE, but there is still a long way to go. “We’re not there yet,” says Dr. Stern. “These results do not mean that we can now diagnose CTE during life or that this experimental test is ready for use in the clinic.” 

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