PHOENIX (KSAZ) – Football season is here. And the safety of the players is paramount.
In recent years, the focus has been on preventing concussion and examining CTE, a brain disease that affects athletes and veterans with concussions.
CTE causes memory loss and confusion among other symptoms, and currently the disease can not be diagnosed until the patient dies. However, researchers and physicians at TGen in Phoenix hope to discover CTE before the symptoms appear.
Dr. Jeffrey Trent with TGen says this study could be the holy grail if it succeeds.
"Sure, the Holy Grail would be the non-invasive rapid test that could give us correct and clear information about what's happening in the brain just by scanning the blood," Dr. Trent.
In CTE, a specific protein begins to clump and slowly kill brain cells, but it usually happens many years later, after numerous head injuries and shocks. This study focuses on targeting CTE primarily through blood sampling.
"If you have played soccer long enough, or some contact sport, then football is another with a few headballs, it's a question of when and not whether," said ex-Arizona Cardinals player Alex Dunn, dr. Trent is.
A Boston study shows 99% of deceased NFL players had CTE and 91% of college football players. Dunn hopes to help researchers diagnose CTE earlier, and he is participating in the study by donating a sample of his blood, saliva and urine.
"Completely easy, yeah, took about 20 minutes, really fast, the staff was fantastic" Well, I recommend to anyone who is an athlete, "said Dunn.
" I played football at Arcadia High School "Hardly the NFL and a son-in-law in the NFL and grandchildren who have the opportunity to play we want to do what we can to help the next generation," said Dr. Trent.
The plan is in the next Two to three years to find a way to diagnose CTE with a blood-based test, the next step is to find more preventive treatment options.
TGen will continue to collect samples on September 7. They are looking for both former athletes with one Concussion as well as non-athletes who are at least 20 years old years old.
Information on Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)
Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/disease en-illnesses / chronic-traumatic-encephalopathy / symptoms-causes / syc-20370921
Shock Legacy Foundation: https://concussionfoundation.org/CTE-resources/what-is-CTE
CTE Research by TGen
https://www.tgen.org/ patients / participation-in-our-research / chronic-traumatic encephalopathy-cte /