NOV 20, 2017 8:31 AM PST

CTE Found in a Living Patient


Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, known as CTE, is a constant focus for NFL players. The repeated blows to the head that often happen in the game are the cause of the disorder, which can show up as dementia, depression, anger outbursts, violence or a loss of cognition. The condition eventually ends in death. In an article published in the journal Neurology earlier this month, researchers in Chicago confirmed that they had accurately and definitively diagnosed CTE in a living patient, for the first time. Former Minnesota Vikings player Fred McNeil, who died in 2015, was diagnosed with CTE in 2012 using the method detailed in the article.

Researchers developed a way to attach a radioactive tracer that attaches to the specific protein that causes CTE. After administering the tracer, a PET scan is conducted, and the tracer allows the tau proteins to light up. Until now, the disease could only be confirmed during a post-mortem examination of the brain. The technique is currently being used on about a dozen retired NFL players who have shown symptoms of CTE. Diagnosing patients while they are still alive opens up avenues for treatments or at least a better understanding of the condition and how to live with it.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
NOV 04, 2020
Plants & Animals
Scientists Rediscover "Lost" Chameleon Species in Madagascar
NOV 04, 2020
Scientists Rediscover "Lost" Chameleon Species in Madagascar
Voeltzkow’s chameleon was recently rediscovered after disappearing for more than 100 years. According to an articl ...
NOV 18, 2020
Plants & Animals
This Bat Species Uses Masks for Mating
NOV 18, 2020
This Bat Species Uses Masks for Mating
From pandemic precautions to televised talent shows, masks are having a moment. Even this bizarre bat species has a buil ...
FEB 20, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Mars Perseverance Rover Gets Ready to Find Life on Mars
FEB 20, 2021
Mars Perseverance Rover Gets Ready to Find Life on Mars
NASA scientists have confirmed that their car-sized Perseverance Mars rover is 'healthy' following its arrival o ...
MAR 26, 2021
Plants & Animals
A Massive 17-Year Cicada Swarm will Emerge Soon
MAR 26, 2021
A Massive 17-Year Cicada Swarm will Emerge Soon
The east coast is preparing for one of nature’s greatest spectacles. A gigantic swarm of periodical cicadas is due ...
JUN 28, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Yeast Engineered to Produce Biofuel from Previously Unusable Biomass
JUN 28, 2021
Yeast Engineered to Produce Biofuel from Previously Unusable Biomass
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found a way to expand biofuel production with geneticall ...
JUL 09, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Cluster of Free-Floating Planets Captured by Kepler Telescope
JUL 09, 2021
Cluster of Free-Floating Planets Captured by Kepler Telescope
The Kepler Space Telescope has captured evidence of mysterious free-floating planets, or planets that are alone in deep ...
Loading Comments...