Scientists discover 'holy grail' of concussion-linked CTE research Angela Mulholland, CTVNews.ca Staff Published Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 8:48AM EST Last Updated Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 9:52AM EST
It's been called the “holy grail” of brain research and now, it may have been found.
U.S. scientists say they have developed a way to detect the concussion-related brain disease called CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, in living athletes.
Until now, the disease, which may bring on dementia, depression and personality changes, could only be confirmed through an autopsy.
Now for the first time, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles have figured out how to use a brain-imaging tool to identify the abnormal build-up of tau proteins -- the key marker of CTE -- in people showing early signs of the disease.
"Early detection of tau proteins may help us to understand what is happening sooner in the brains of these injured athletes," lead author Dr. Gary Small said in a statement.
Small is UCLA's Parlow–Solomon Professor on Aging and a professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA.
Could lead to a step in treatment, will it help at all with prevention? Also could be some weakness in the corrolation. Seem to remember reading a study years ago about how straining in training, bearing down, holding your breath while lifting wieghts, for example, may be linked to dementia. Football players do this sort of straining on most plays, depending on position. So were there to be something to that study, how much of the increase in tau proteins or the development in CTEs is due to that vs concussions alone? Are they doing studies with people in other walks of life who have suffered more than one concussion to see the link between concussions and CTEs, and increase in tau proteins?
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NFL players react to Obama's opinions on football Howard Fendrich, The Associated Press Published Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013 9:25AM EST
NEW ORLEANS -- Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs respects and understands U.S. President Barack Obama's opinion about the dangers of football -- and hesitation about having a child play.
The hard-hitting 2011 Defensive Player of the Year also says that no matter how violent the sport, his 4-year-old son will be allowed to take it up if he wants.
"It would have to be his choice," Suggs said Monday. "Football isn't for everybody. If my son ... came to me and said, `Dad, I want to play football,' then I would let him play." Related Stories
The president's thoughts about the future of the NFL -- and whether he'd let a son play football -- were a main topic of conversation as Super Bowl week got under way. So much so that when San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Alex Boone stepped away from his interview session, he asked someone, "What's up with all this Obama (stuff)?"
Here's what's up: In an interview with The New Republic, the newly inaugurated president expressed what many other parents might be thinking following new studies about concussions and recent suicides by former NFL players.
"I'm a big football fan, but I have to tell you, if I had a son, I'd have to think long and hard before I let him play football," Obama said.
"I think that those of us who love the sport are going to have to wrestle with the fact that it will probably change gradually to try to reduce some of the violence," he added. "In some cases, that may make it a little bit less exciting, but it will be a whole lot better for the players, and those of us who are fans maybe won't have to examine our consciences quite as much."