Ex-NFL player first living person diagnosed with CTE

| | November 21, 2017
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Researchers published, what they say is the first case of a living person identified with the degenerative brain disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. While unnamed in the study, lead author Dr. Bennet Omalu confirmed to CNN that the subject of the case was former NFL player, Fred McNeill — who died in 2015.

The discovery was first made in 2012 using an experimental brain scan that can trace a signature protein of CTE called tau. The case study was published in the journal Neurosurgery this week.

CTE is known for plaguing people with Alzheimer’s like symptoms such as memory loss, rage, mood swings, and in some cases, suicidal ideation. Severity of the disease is categorized into four stages, with stage 4 being the most severe. While researchers don’t know exactly why certain people develop the disease and others don’t, they believe that it results from repeated blows to the head that trigger a build up of tau proteins in the brain.

Omalu noted that in CTE, tau makes distinctive patterns in the brain. It has a “specific topographic signature,” he said, and that pattern can be detected in imaging.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Ex-NFL player confirmed as 1st case of CTE in living patient

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