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"Football Deathwatch: Detecting CTE Early, New Brain Damage Study" - Bob Cook

  • Forbes
  • New York, NY
  • (2017-09-23 00:00:00.0)

Right now CTE – a neurodegenerative disease associated with repetitive brain trauma, whether or not concussions are diagnosed – can only be discovered after death. Such as with late Aaron Hernandez, whose family announced they are suing the NFL for what it says is the league’s liability in what researchers said was one of the most advanced cases they had seen in a 27 year old. But new research points to the possibility that techniques have now been discovered to find CTE in the living. Three years ago, Dave Herman, a 73 year old New York Jets player with memory problems wanted to enroll in a Mount Sinai clinical trial for an Alzheimer’s drug. However, the doctors who examined Herman, Sam Gandy, MD, PhD, professor of neurology and psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai being one of them, couldn’t agree on what was ailing him. Dr. Gandy examined Herman’s brain twice using positron-emission tomography scans. “With the better resolution in the PET scans, we could see the localization of the tau, the indicator of CTE in exactly that spot, the bottom of the walls of the wrinkles,” Dr. Gandy explained. “It looked very similar to what you would expect from postmortem CTE brain.”

 - Samuel Gandy, MD, PhD, Professor, Neurology, Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai 

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