FROM THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN NEUROPSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION
DENVER - An intensive research effort is underway that is aimed at detecting chronic traumatic encephalopathy early in its course through the use of biomarkers and neuroimaging. But a diagnostic test that can be done on a still-living patient who has this neurodegenerative disorder, which is linked to repeated blows to the head, is probably many years away.
One major ongoing study involves 150 retired National Football League players (aged 40-69 years) with an extensive history of repeated head traumas, and a control group comprising former collegiate or professional athletes with no history of head trauma. They are being followed prospectively with the monitoring of blood and cerebrospinal fluid for potential biomarkers, such as the microtubule-associated tau protein, along with DNA analysis and neuroimaging studies, Robert A. Stern, Ph.D., said at the meeting.
This project is going to take time because even after promising clinical diagnostic criteria have been identified, the only way...