Abnormal Tau Protein Detected in CTE-Affected Living NFL Players’ Brains
Physical Therapy Products (PT Products)
Researchers have found elevated amounts of abnormal tau protein in brain regions affected by chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in a small group of living former National Football League (
An experimental positron emission tomography (PET) scan was used in the study, published recently in the
The researchers also found the more years of tackle football played (across all levels of play), the higher the tau protein levels detected by the PET scan. However, there was no relationship between the tau PET levels and cognitive test performance or severity of mood and behavior symptoms, a media release from
“The results of this study provide initial support for the flortaucipir PET scan to detect abnormal tau from CTE during life. However, we’re not there yet,” corresponding author
“These results do not mean that we can now diagnose CTE during life or that this experimental test is ready for use in the clinic.”
The study was conducted in
Results showed that the tau PET levels were significantly higher in the former
Interestingly, the former player and control groups did not differ in their amyloid PET measurements. Indeed, only one former player had amyloid PET measurements comparable to those seen in Alzheimer’s disease, the release continues.
“Our findings suggest that mild cognitive, emotional, and behavioral symptoms observed in athletes with a history of repetitive impacts are not attributable to AD, and they provide a foundation for additional research studies to advance the scientific understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of CTE in living persons,” states co-author,
“More research is needed to draw firm conclusions, and contact sports athletes, their families, and other stakeholders are waiting.
With support from