First living CTE diagnosis could lead to early detection and treatment

Bill Grady
November 17, 2017 - 4:24 am

New findings could mean a breakthrough in treating chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a disorder linked to repeated concussions in athletes and others.

Symptoms of CTE include Alzheimer's-like memory loss, motor skill problems, emotional instability and premature death.

Until now, the only studies conducted were post mortem. A just-published report examines the symptoms in a living person, former professional football player Fred McNeill who died in 2015.

CTE was discovered in 2012.

Dr. Michael Rippee, a neurologist with University of Kansas Health System hopes other living patients can be examined.

"I think the first step is being able to even find this and have a good chance at knowing who these people are that are either at-risk, or have the disease, so that, yes, then we can track them," said Rippee.  

Some researchers remain skeptical and say the discovery of a protein linked to CTE could actually show the presence of other diseases.

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