Dale Earnhardt Jr. 'Happy' About Boston University's New CTE Findings

Posted January 20, 2018

Researchers say CTE is caused by repeated head trauma, regardless if you've been diagnosed with a concussion.

The study found that early signs of CTE not only persist long after a head injury but also spread through the brain. Compared to the brains of similarly-aged athletes who didn't experience head trauma, all four showed brain changes "including leaky blood vessels and abnormal buildups of the protein tau", which is associated with CTE, reports CNN. In November, he said he meant to donate his brain to research.

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Goldstein says the goal moving forward is to develop new diagnostics, therapeutics, protective equipment and preventive measures to hell those affected by head injuries.

"We see the hard hits all the time, where a guy pops up and smiles and [signals] a first down, and (think) 'OK, that hit was fine.' But what this study says is: No, that hit probably wasn't fine, and that poor guy can't feel the damage that's happening in his brain right now", Nowinski said. She said she plans to be vigilant but still support her children as they play sports. Presently, CTE can only be diagnosed in an individual after death, but Stern and his BU colleagues are optimistic the disease can be diagnosed in the living within the next five to 10 years. The brains of those who did not experience head injuries did not have the same signs, the researchers state. "That's critical. But there's two different issues going on - one is concussion, which is by definition a temporary problem". "The continued focus on concussion and symptomatic recovery does not address the fundamental danger these activities pose to human health". Lee Goldstein with Boston University's School of Medicine. The study was led by researchers at Boston University and the VA Boston Healthcare System. What researchers found under the microscope was striking, said Goldstein. This however is the largest and most definitive study on this till date say researchers. Dr. Injuries to the head result in focal disruption of capillaries, causing protein leakage into the brain.

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The new study shows that when head injuries happen, or the head get hit often, blood vessels leak proteins to the brain and surrounding tissues, causing inflammation.
"I did not play tackle football until high school, and I will not allow my grandson to play until 14, as I believe it is not an appropriate sport for young children".

CLF has teamed up with Pro Football Hall of Famers Nick Buoniconti and Harry Carson, who advocate the foundation's cause.

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CTE has been a hot topic lately, as we've seen studies showing that it's rampant in former National Football League players. "This is really preserving the future for football".