Biomarker could be CTE link — 4 insights

Eric Oliver -   Print  |

A study published in Neurology noted the existence of a possible chronic traumatic encephalopathy biomarker, Science Daily reports.

What you should know:

1. Researchers discovered elevated levels of tau, a protein, in 12 of 22 former athletes who experienced multiple concussions.

2. Researchers have linked tau to CTE in the past.

3. Athletes with higher levels of tau scored lower on tests that measured thinking skills than athletes with normal tau levels.

4. Athletes with elevated tau levels also had more "unhealthy" white matter in their brains.

Study author Maria Carmela Tartaglia, MD, of the University of Toronto, said: "We wanted to find a marker of CTE that can be measured while someone is still alive and then see if it related to loss of brain function. Tau has been linked to a higher risk of CTE in the past and our study found higher levels of this protein in the cerebrospinal fluid of some of the former athletes."

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