Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) has made a lot of headlines lately, like when former Patriots Aaron Hernandez was diagnosed with the neurogenerative disease after he committed suicide in prison, when a study came out last week showing youth tackle football can affect players' brains well into adulthood, and when the president declared rules meant to limit head-to-head contact are ruining football. Each time, one question always comes up: when we will be able to diagnose CTE in living people?
Boston University researchers took a big step closer this week. They've identified a substance in spinal fluid that they think could be used as a test. It's called the CCL11 protein.Researchers say they're seeing much higher levels of it in people diagnosed with CTE after they've died, which could be a game-changer. It's important to note that these findings are only preliminary, but if proven out, they could have a profound impact on the health and safety of athletes young and old.