CTE: Newly recognized brain disease

Dec. 10, 2012 at 1:29 AM
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LAS VEGAS, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Athletes and soldiers diagnosed with Alzheimer's or Parkinson's might have had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or brain trauma, U.S. researchers say.

"CTE can start months or years after brain trauma has occurred, either in contact sports, military service or perhaps even partner violence," Adm. Regina Benjamin, the U.S. surgeon general, recently told scientists and advocates at the first-ever CTE conference at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas.

Different from traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the group said CTE could strike adult and youth alike.

At the CTE conference, experts defined the affliction, exchanged the latest data, developed a diagnosis and outlined a research plan, reported Alzforum, a news source on Alzheimer's and related diseases research.

Research suggests with CTE, toxic proteins creep from the site of impact to other areas of the brain. Because this toxicity moves between cells, researchers refer to the spread as "templating," not "infectious."

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