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Researchers aim to diagnose CTE in living subjects

Ohio football fans may have seen a good deal of news coverage of chronic traumatic encephalopathy and the frequency with which former NFL players are diagnosed with this after their deaths. Researchers say that starting in summer 2016, they are going to begin an effort to diagnose CTE in people while they are still alive.

Half of the 240 men participating in the study will be former NFL players while 60 will be former college football players, and the other 60 will be men who have not played contact sports. They are all between the ages of 45 and 74. Researchers hope that they will be able to use psychiatric, neurological and biometric indicators to identify signs of CTE and that this will be the first step in establishing diagnostic criteria for determining whether a person has CTE.

One sign of CTE in deceased individuals is a buildup of the protein tau, so among other things, researchers plan to examine chemical changes that might result in this buildup over the three-year period of the study. It is believed that being hit repeatedly in the head can trigger the production of this protein. The study could also lead to better treatments for veterans and other people who suffer from head trauma.

A traumatic brain injury can have far-reaching consequences. One of the difficulties with this kind of injury is that it can sometimes be difficult to diagnose. Furthermore, its effects can be far-reaching and may not be immediately apparent. A traumatic brain injury might cause an immediate, devastating permanent disability, or its worst damage might not reveal itself until later. A person who is in an accident caused by the negligence of another person that results in a traumatic brain injury may want to speak to attorney about filing a lawsuit that would seek compensation from the at-fault party.

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