Campus, News

Study led by BU researcher to examine CTE among living athletes

Researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine, in conjunction with researchers from other major medical institutions, announced Wednesday a seven-year $16 million study to diagnose Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, commonly known as CTE, a degenerative brain disease, according to BU Today.

One of the main goals of the study is to identify and find treatments for CTE among the living. Symptoms of CTE have been found mainly among “professional contact sport athletes … who have been subjected to repetitive head impacts,” according to the research project’s information sheet.

BU spokesperson Colin Riley said this study reflects positively on the work researchers at BUSM have done in relation to CTE diagnosis among athletes competing in contact sports. The information obtained from the study will benefit the public, he said.

“[CTE research] is something that needs to be taken seriously by parents who have children who may be interested in contact sports, and that they be aware of what to do if their daughter or son suffer a concussion and what the proper treatments are,” Riley said.

The study will be conducted in four different locations — Arizona, Boston, Las Vegas and New York. Researchers will perform various medical examinations on the participating subjects between the ages of 45 and 74. The participants will include both former college and professional football players, as well as men who have no history of brain injury or playing contact sports, according to the research project’s information sheet.

“The importance of this research is that Dr. Robert Stern [a principal investigator for the study from BU MED] and other scientists will be looking at ways to identify CTE,” Riley said, “and perhaps provide treatment for living people.”

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