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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 09:24 AM
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New brain study to test 100 former NFL players (should be work comp?)

http://www.omaha.com/article/20111118/AP0405/311189987

Published Friday November 18, 2011

By RACHEL COHEN

(AP) - The researchers studying a degenerative brain disease in former athletes plan to test about 100 retired NFL players to try to learn how to diagnose the condition during life.

For now, the only way to confirm Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is by examining brains after death. The Boston University center that has analyzed the brains of more than 70 former athletes is starting a three-year study of living patients. The Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at BU's School of Medicine also will recruit 50 retired elite athletes from non-contact sports as a comparison group, co-director Robert Stern told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The first subject completed the two days of extensive testing Wednesday and Thursday.

Until CTE can be diagnosed during life, it's impossible to develop treatments or to determine how to prevent it, Stern said.

"We need answers on this disease really quickly," he said.

Co-director Dr. Ann McKee has found CTE in more than 50 former athletes; in the past year alone, the list has included sports stars Dave Duerson of the NFL and Rick Martin of the NHL. Linked to repeated brain trauma, CTE is associated with symptoms such as memory loss, impaired judgment, depression, and, eventually, progressive dementia.

FULL story at link.

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