A CTE scan would be able to tell if someone has CTE. Presently there is no such scan, however, innovative research is underway to establish methods of detecting CTE during life. This research will advance methods of prediction, prevention, and treatment. At present, there is no diagnostic CTE scan for those who are living.
After death, a definitive diagnosis of CTE can be made. During an autopsy, the brain can be examined for changes associated with CTE.
What is CTE?
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is a brain condition linked to repeated head trauma. Damage to the brain does not have to be caused by high impact. In fact, a subconcussive blow can create damage without symptoms. Repeated blows to the head can lead to a buildup of tau proteins in brain tissue.
Moreover, this build-up can kill brain cells. A PET scan can identify patterns of tau proteins in the brain. Yet, this scan cannot predict if or when someone will develop CTE. Additionally, it does not identify if a person has CTE.
Those most at risk for CTE include:
- Football players, with the highest recorded incidences
- Hockey players
Symptoms of CTE
Symptoms of CTE do not usually occur for years or even decades after the injuries. There are symptoms to be aware of such as irritability, erratic behavior, and depression. Additionally, some may experience rage and memory loss.
Current Research for a CTE Scan
Presently, the National Institutes of Health is conducting the largest study for developing a CTE scan. As cited in their ongoing National DIAGNOSE-CTE Research Project, “There is thus an urgent need to develop accurate methods for detecting and diagnosing CTE during life so that effective interventions for prevention and treatment can be developed.”
According to the National DIAGNOSE-CTE Research Project’s lead investigator, Dr. Robert Stern of Boston University, “Me and 50 co-researchers around the world are conducting further research, the DIAGNOSE CTE project, and our primary goal is to develop and refine methods of diagnosing CTE during life.” As he told NBC News, “We plan to examine the course of the disease over a three-year period and to assess risk factors including genetics and exposures to repetitive head injuries.” When finished, this data will be shared with researchers around the world.
Brain Fitness Centers of Florida
If you have had a brain injury or repeated blows to the head and have questions or concerns, please contact Brain Fitness Centers of Florida in Palm Harbor. Our professional staff will be happy to address your concerns with a CTE scan or other solutions. Visit our website to schedule an appointment or call us at 727-608-7378