A team of experts from the Boston University discovered a protein that can help them fight Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a degenerative brain disease that is most commonly found among the athletes. In fact, 110 out of 111 deceased football players showed some signs of it. Besides athletes, other groups that are prone to this disease are military veterans, and people who experienced head trauma in their lifetime.
The protein now known under name CCL11 was discovered in collaboration with VA Boston Healthcare System. What is significant is that the protein was not found among people who never experienced head trauma or patients with Alzheimer disease. CCL11 is found in cerebrospinal fluid, which means that doctors from now on can make the entire diagnosis process much faster. Till now, CTE could only be diagnosed from brain tissue which made treatment of this disease almost impossible. Now, the CTE can be diagnosed to the living human beings as well.
CTE is a disease that is hard to diagnose but can lead to many other mental-health issues such as anxiety, depression, and even depression. The symptoms are very similar to the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease which made it even more difficult to diagnose. Now, researchers are sure that CCL11 is not found with patients who have Alzheimer’s, which helps them distinguish these two diseases even though the symptoms are the same and prevent misdiagnosis that was quite frequent.
The main reason why football players are so prone to the CTE is the fact that they often bump into each other with their heads by using great power and strength. Even though the NFL is trying to limit the number of such sports contact, it is still very present on the football fields across the world. Some of the most famous footballers suffering from the CTE were Junior Seau, Dave Duerson, and Aaron Hernandez, who all committed suicide.
CCL11 protein can help doctors improve the diagnosis process and improve prevention of this disease that is very hard to diagnose but can have devastating consequences to the human health.